After losing his opening match, the Middlesbrough boss is on a four-game unbeaten streak at the Riverside with three of those being wins. He had his first taste of management at Old Trafford where he was put in charge as caretaker boss after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking.
"I think it was needed, to be honest," he said.
“Manchester United was my life and had been for some time. I respect the club greatly and love the place. I have friends there and my son plays there still.
"So I won't ever lose that affinity. I was at the away game two weeks ago with my son. That was a huge part of my life and that is football. You get attached to certain football clubs."
He added: "When I'm in somewhere, I'm all in. But I got comfortable in that role at United and you've got to come out of that comfort zone sometimes to test yourself and make your own way. That's why I'm here [at Middlesbrough].
"This is where I started all those years ago, so there is kind of a feeling of real belonging here - and I don't say that as a throwaway line, that's how it feels. I've felt really at home in these last few days."
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