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BERNIE SLAVEN 12-8-05

Bernie made his name as a Boro legend in the eighties and nineties and legends need no introductions from ourselves...

COB: What was the best goal that you scored for the Boro? Your favourite strike, if you like.

BS: My best goal was against Aston Villa in the Zenith Data Systems Cup semi-final second leg. It was one of the goals that helped get Boro to Wembley for the first time and Bruce Rioch described it as a world class finish, which for someone like Bruce who didn't give me too much praise too often sums up why it must have been such a good finish.

COB: What was your most memorable Boro game?

BS: The final game of the 1989/90 season at Ayresome Park against Newcastle because I got two goals, Bairdy got two goals, we stayed up and stopped the Geordies going up.

COB: Who was your most difficult opponent?

BS: My most difficult opponent is my best friend in football, Gary Pallister. I enjoyed playing with him at the Boro but when he went to Manchester United, he made it difficult because he knew so much about me. But I still remind Pally that he didn't stop me at Old Trafford in the 1991/92 League Cup semi-final.



COB: Can you tell us about the Boro managers that you played under. How did their style work with yours. Or not work with yours, as the case may be.

Willie Maddren - I owe everything to Willie. He took a chance on me when nobody else was willing to and without him, I wouldn't have had a career with the Boro and probably would still be in Glasgow.

Bruce Rioch - Bruce was the best manager I ever played under but could be very tough. After finishing one season as top scorer, he called me into the office. I expected a pay rise and he gave fifteen points I needed to improve on, if I was to keep my place the following season.

Colin Todd - Although I got on with Toddy, I think he found it difficult going from number two to being the boss. But I still regret one game when Toddy subbed me at half time and I threw my kit in the bath and took the dogs for a walk. Perhaps Toddy should have put the dogs on instead.

Lennie Lawrence - A clash of personalities. I had plenty and he didn't have any.

COB: You have been quoted in the past as saying that Ayresome Park was not big enough for both you and Lennie Lawrence. Can you expand on that please.

BS: Like in any job, sometimes you and the boss don't get on. It was as simple as that. But I was pleased recently to do an interview with Lennie and we put the past behind us. I meet him quite often through my work in the media and have no problems with him at all.

COB: How much do you think you would be worth in today's transfer market?

BS: It's not for me to say but if I cost £25,000 and someone like Massimo cost £8,000,000, I'll leave it up to you to decide.

COB: After you finished playing, were you ever tempted to go into management?

BS: Yes I was. I've taken some coaching badges but my work in the media stopped me from completing the full licence and at the moment, I'm just happy to do my radio work.

COB: You've been a fully fledged Teessider for a long time now in everything but accent Bernie. What is it about the area that made you want to stay here?

BS: I like the people. They were terrific to me when I played and they are still very kind to me and my family now. I was born in Glasgow but I feel I now belong to the Boro.

COB: Do you intend to run for the position of Mayor of Middlesbrough again in the future?

BS: No. I have to say I thnk I was stitched up by Ali on this one but I think it would have been interesting if I would have won.

COB: Yourself and Ali provide the best Boro live commentary around, by a long, long way. Can you give us an insight into what makes you such a good double act.

BS: Yes, it's a good combination. Ali sees life through his rose tinted glasses and I tell the truth.

COB: Another new season, another new striker. Will Yakubu Ayegbini be a big hit or will he fire blanks?

BS: Let's hope he'll be a big hit. I remember painfully watching Yakubu score against us for Portsmouth when doing commentary. Let's hope he's the twenty goal a season striker we have been looking for.

COB: How do you think this season will be for Middlesbrough? How do you rate our chances of landing some silverware?

BS: I still think we need to bring in two new players before the end of August and if we do there's no reason why we can't finish at least in 7th place. The chances of landing silverware might be good if we take all competitions seriously. Unlike last year at Liverpool when we threw away the only cup that we had won in 128 years.

Bernie will be telling the truth on Century Radio live tomorrow from around 4.15pm. And throughout the season, of course.

Hit this link to listen to the best live Boro commentary around.

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