Southgate Warns Us Of 'December Blues'!

Last updated : 11 December 2008 By Boro Mad
Gareth Southgate: "I was quite amused at the figure they put on his head because the club that were linked pay double that for full-backs.

"As you go towards January, you know it can be an unsettling period at all football clubs because speculation runs wild, it's the nature of the transfer window.

"We have to do all we can to try to keep our best players, and if we can add to the squad, we will try to do that.

"He's a terrific player. He is an intelligent footballer. He can play in any number of different positions.

"He scored eight goals last year and has four already this year from a deep striking role. He can play wide, he can play in midfield and he is a joy to work with.

"He is a real character around the place and a big influence on our team.

"There's nothing we can do about it, people are going to speculate.

"Some of the stories will be way adrift of the mark, some will have an element of truth, one or two might be bang on.

"Every club is going to have this through December and January. The first year it took me, not by surprise, but I was amazed at how unsettling a period it is for a football club.

"Last year I was better prepared and this year I know what's coming.

"You have to remind players that if there are things they want to discuss or find out about, knock on the door and talk, because we can put a lot of the speculation aside.

"But it can be unsettling for the group, and then that all finishes on January 31 and everyone realises they are where they are for another six months and they get on with their job again."