Southgate Gets Backing For Unlikely Source!

Last updated : 26 February 2009 By Boro Mad
Praise for the Boro boss and chairman Steve Gibson ... and even understanding for the economic climate on Teesside!

That is not usually the way London journalists work.

Daily Mirror:
"This season Gareth Southgate has had to slash his wage bill by a third, and during his two and a half seasons of restructuring, the age of his squad had plummeted from over 30 to lower-mid 20s.

"He has also fielded an entire home grown academy midfield at times this season, all just out of their teens.

"Chairman Steve Gibson, who has personally poured £60 million of his own cash into the club, has to manage his budgets knowing that only £8 million comes in from gate-receipts per season.

"The economic climate on Teesside means tickets prices have to be kept low to keep the crowds around 25,000.

"Selling Luke Young and Lee Cattermole in the summer hardly helped Boro's wish for progress this season. And neither has the form of Brazilian striker Afonso Alves, who is hardly looking like a £12 million striker. Sulky Tuncay needs to earn his big wages and change games.

"The good news is that Boro are not adrift. A couple of wins could change the picture, and the run of games up to mid-April has opportunities to harvest points. And their defence is staying reasonably tight.

"Having dealt with 15 managers during the last eight years in the north east, Southgate shines out in the top three as among the most honest, likable of the lot.

"Of course that doesn't make him a great football manager. But I hope qualities like that have a place in football, and that he leads Boro to safety."