Boro's Outstanding Contribution Award Goes To ...

Last updated : 10 March 2009 By Boro Mad
Gareth Southgate: "O'Neil has been outstanding for the last few weeks.

"It's been well documented that Portsmouth wanted to take him back, and it might have been expected that we would accept their offer. But we have always said that we want to hang on to our best players. We spoke to O'Neil and told him we would not be allowing him to leave.

"His response has been tremendous and the team has benefited as a result.

"O'Neil did not deserve to be on the losing side at Everton on Sunday. He never stopped running and he nearly got us back into it with that terrific free kick near the end.

"O'Neil's committed approach typifies the rest of the team.

"We went to Everton believing we could win it and we have to approach all our remaining games in the same manner.

"The one thing we have to do is to stop giving goals away from crosses and set pieces, because clean sheets will be very important to us.

"I thought that Bates was excellent again for us in the Cup.

"He has good engines and reacts quickly to things that are going on around him.

"He also likes to push forward and he got in some important crosses."