Boro are yet to clarify Agnew's situation, but Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce - who knows him well - believes he'll come back stronger
Steve Bruce has backed ex-Middlesbrough head coach Steve Agnew to bounce back from his Premier League disappointment.
The Aston Villa boss enjoyed a successful two-and-a-half year spell at Hull City with Agnew as his No 2, during which the pair masterminded the Tiger's promotion to the top-flight and reached an FA Cup final.
In December 2014, Agnew returned to Boro as Aitor Karanka's assistant - and replaced the Spaniard as head coach at the end of last season, but managed just one win in 11 matches at the helm.
Following Garry Monk's unveiling back on June 19, chief executive Neil Bausor said talks with Agnew were planned in the "coming days" - and there has since been no official clarification from the club outlining the 51-year-old's situation.
Agnew has not been involved in the Boro first-team set-up this season - but despite his curious absence, close friend Bruce believes he has a bright future in management.
"Yes I was very disappointed for Steve," Bruce said following Boro's 0-0 draw at Villa Park. "He's a good man.
"But football is football, you know. Is he keeping alright? Where is he?"
Bruce added he is not sure what the current situation with Agnew at the Riverside is, but said: "He's a good football man.