Boro's Home-Grown Talent Better Than Foreigners?

Last updated : 19 March 2009 By Boro Mad

Alan Hansen: "Middlesbrough face a tough task staying up this season, though they are one of a number of clubs in a relegation fight down at the foot of the table.

"Personally, I would be delighted if they stayed up.

"They have a fantastic chairman in Steve Gibson who cares deeply about the club and has backed it to the hilt.

"Despite criticism of Gareth Southgate by some sections of the media, I think the manager is fine.

"Another reason that I would like to see Boro stay up is that they are one of the few Premier League clubs that progresses good young English talent into the first team on a regular basis.

"In their last match, Boro had six home-grown local lads who played their part in the team, either starting or coming on as sub. They also had reserve goalkeeper Ross Turnbull on the bench.

"That level of youth progression has to be applauded when you continually see figures of diminishing numbers of English players breaking through to first team Premier League football.

"The team now has to show some real character to get themselves out of the position they are currently in. Although no game is easy when you are at the bottom end, they will see the next four games as all winnable.

"However, after that run of fixtures come matches against Arsenal and Manchester United, so these next four games may well decide Boro's fate."