Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Southgate ‘had to’ give up Middlesbrough's experience

Gareth Southgate has defended the decision to sell his experenced players even though Middlesbrough are in danger of being relegated from the Premier League.

Boro go into today’s game with Aston Villa three points adrift of safety with two games to go, with many supporters blaming Southgate’s decision for their troubles.

George Boateng, Luke Young and keeper Mark Schwarzer departed last summer, following Jonathan Woodgate, Ayegbeni Yakubu and Mark Viduka out of the Boro door, but Southgate insists he had little option.

The Boro manager said: “The experience we had, either wanted to move on or we had to sell. The bigger picture is why we had to take those decisions."

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