A visibly-distressed Ben Gibson admitted Middlesbrough had not been good enough for the Premier League after their relegation was confirmed on Monday.
The Teessiders were easily beaten 3-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as Antonio Conte’s men closed on the title, but the Boro captain – the nephew of chairman and owner Steve Gibson – admitted his team had fallen well short of the required standard.
“It’s not just tonight, it’s a full season. From top to bottom we haven’t been good enough. Players, staff, myself,” he told Sky Sports.
“They [Chelsea] were much better in every department. It could have been 4,5,6-0. It was the lowest point of my career. We’ve got to put it right.
“In fact it’s the lowest point of my life, not just my career. It means that much.”
Gibson, who has been linked with a £25million move to Chelsea this summer, added: “The fans didn’t stop singing, wherever we’ve been this season they’ve been the same. The fans deserve Premier League football and we have to find a team to do that
“We have to reflect on what’s gone wrong.”
Gibson, now speaking to the BBC, continued: “After the highs of last season, to be honest we’ve wasted an opportunity to play in the best league in the world.
“We have to put it right and make sure we come back stronger. The chairman Steve Gibson and those fans, they deserve Premier League football. People say he’s the best chairman in the country and our fans were singing until the end there.”