Aitor Karanka believes he and Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson saved the club from tumbling into League One.
The former Real Madrid defender took charge of Boro in 2013 - his first senior management job - and guided the Teesside outfit into the Premier League in just his third season.
However, having been relegated from the top tier in 2009, Karanka insists Boro were headed further down the English league pyramid prior to his arrival.
Boro are now gearing up for the visit of Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday - Karanka's 150th game in charge of the club.
"It's been almost three years and some of it feels like it's gone really quick, some really slow," said the Spaniard.
"Three years ago, I was in this room with one job, with one thing to do, and it was to get Middlesbrough football club into the Premier League - and we are in the Premier League, so that's the main thing.
"I have always said that when I met Steve Gibson, I knew that to come here was the best decision. After three years, we have grown together, because the club was going to League One and we are in the Premier League.
"We have to trust each other. Steve, I think, trusts me, and I trust him and the club and everything. This is the way."
Karanka's side are struggling this season, sitting 17th with only one league win.