Southgate To Outlast Benitez?

Last updated : 25 February 2009 By Boro Mad

Gareth Southgate has already outlasted sackings at Blackburn, Portsmouth, Chelsea, West Ham, Sunderland and Spurs this season ... despite several times being odds-on as the next to go.

The Middlesbrough boss sees his side entertain West Ham in a fifth-round replay tonight desperate to kick-start their season once again after a run of 14 Barclays Premier League games without a victory which has left them deep in relegation trouble.

Boro have won just twice in their last 17 outings in all competitions and have beaten only non-League Barrow at the Riverside Stadium since Manchester City left the north east on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline on October 29.

With Liverpool due on Teesside in the league on Saturday, Southgate's men could do with a confidence boost, and booking themselves a quarter-final trip to Everton could give them just that.

Southgate: "We have got to make sure we remember what it is like to score goals and win matches and celebrate and enjoy ourselves and play with a smile on our faces.

"That's our job as a group of staff, to try to help the players solve the problems they face at any stage of the season.

"Those problems change. At the moment, it's creating enough and scoring enough; at other times, it has been conceding late goals and things like that.

"There's always some issue to resolve, and that's what is fascinating about the job.

"You want to win every game you play, so I don't think there is a priority as such this week.

"We want to get through in the cup and we want to stay in the league. The cup game is the one that comes first, and we want to give that our best shot.

"It is just being courageous enough to keep being brave, keep shooting, keep getting into the right areas and things will turn.

"We are very confident that will happen. Everybody else outside wants to tell us 'It can't happen, it won't happen, why it won't happen, walk away, give up, quit, don't get out of bed', whatever it is.

"But that's not how we live our lives. We want to achieve, we want to do things in our lives and we will not let other people's negativity stop us."