Southgate Hails Star Midfielder!

Last updated : 12 March 2009 By Boro Mad
Gareth Southgate: "Matthew is an intelligent footballer and he reads the game well.

"He is more comfortable in possession than a lot of defenders in terms of receiving the ball.

"There's a lot to work on and it is very early stages but, certainly, it gives you somebody with a bit more of a defensive mind in there, and that gives a player like Julio Arca a bit more freedom to attack.

"Hoyte has been having treatment.

"He's a doubt for the weekend at the moment, but we'll have to wait and see.

"We've been delighted with Matthew Bates' contribution in midfield, but I still believe that he is a very good defender.

"He's an intelligent footballer and he understands what's needed wherever you play him, and adapts immediately."