Southgate Keeping His Money In His Pocket!

Last updated : 19 December 2008 By Boro Mad
Gareth Southgate: "It was a case that either Mark stayed, or we were going to go with the two we had.

"We just felt we would never know about them unless we gave them that opportunity.

"You can lose players at a football club without ever looking at them and giving them that chance, and then you do run the risk of them going elsewhere and doing well and missing out on something that's been right under your nose.

"We did offer Mark a contract because it would have been great to groom the other two underneath him.

"But it has worked out better than we could have hoped because Ross is getting that Premier League experience under his belt now, and I know Brad is there ready to step in if Ross doesn't attain the heights he has set in this early part of the season.

"What it meant was that we were going to see whether our two guys were going to cope in this division, and I had no question that they could.

"At the moment, Brad's chances have been limited because Ross has played so well. But I know Brad can play at this level, there is no question about that.

"But we had to look as well a little bit to the long-term future of the club and Mark, fantastic keeper that he is, he is coming towards the end of his career, so we needed to look at our two as well and with Mark moving on, it has given our two an opportunity.

"He was a fantastic servant to this football club. It will be increasingly rare for people to spend as long at a club as Mark did at this club.

"He is a terrific goalkeeper and somebody I have great admiration for having played with and managed him.

"I am looking forward to meeting him - and hopefully sticking a couple past him."