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Middlesbrough 1 Aston Villa 1: Boro on the brink as fans turn on Southgate
Published : 16 May 2009 21:45:43
Gareth Southgate admitted he was hurt by the booing at the end of agame which left Middlesbrough's Premier League status hanging by athread. But if Boro, who need a miracle on the final day, do sufferrelegation, the former England international wants to stay on and bringthem back up from the Championship. 'The booing at the end was hurtful,' said Southgate. 'I've livedwith this hour by hour. I think about it every morning and everyevening. I've been here eight years and I'd be lying if I said that areaction like that wasn't hurtful. 'It has an impact on me. Emotions runhigh at the end of a game like that but whatever happens at the end ofthe season and we're not in this league I want to take the team backup.' Boro, who go to West Ham next week, let another chance slip to improve their survival chances. The afternoon typified their season. A bright start in which Tuncayput them ahead with a wonderful overhead kick gradually evaporated. Despite playing well up until the interval, they ran out of steamand were fortunate that Villa did not take the chances that would haveconfirmed their drop into the Championship. An ankle injury to Stewart Downing did not help, the England wingerbeing carried off on a stretcher midway through the first half in whatcould be his farewell appearance at the Riverside as leading clubs tryto tempt him away. Without Downing, Boro lacked a cutting edge and look doomed. Southgate admitted: 'We haven't scored enough goals, we've conceded bad goals and not finished games off. 'Today we needed a second goal but you couldn't fault the playersfor effort. Southgate received some support from Villa boss MartinO'Neill, who said: 'I really feel for managers in his position. 'And I have a great regard for Gareth Southgate. Without question he has the wherewithal to bring Boro back. 'He's working with a wonderful chairman and I think he will be a quality manager.' O'Neill knew that his side had missed the opportunity to confirm Boro's relegation as they wasted a glut of second-half chances. Once John Carew had capitalised on some woeful Boro defending, in which substitute Marlon King was the most culpable, Brad Jones had to produce several excellent saves to keep their slim hopes alive. Ashley Young had the best opportunity as he raced clear down the middle. But as he attempted to round Jones, the goalkeeper timed his dive perfectly to emerge with the ball. However, Boro needed more than last-ditch defence. They needed a win and in the second half did not look like getting it. MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Jones; Bates, Huth, Wheater, Hoyte; Johnson, O'Neill (Walker 72min), Arca, Downing (King 23); Tuncay, Emnes. Subs (not used): Turnbull, Taylor, Shawky, McMahon, Grounds. ASTON VILLA (4-1-2-3): Friedel; Milner, Davies, Cuellar, Shorey; Petrov; A Young (Reo-Coker 70), Barry; Heskey, Carew, Agbonlahor. Subs (not used): Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Knight, Gardner, Clark. Booked: Milner, Barry. Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire).