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Downing backed by Southgate
09 Jan 2009 - 07:08:21
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has backed winger Stewart Downing to continue to give his all for the club, despite having a recent transfer request rejected.
The 24-year-old England international is a target for Spurs, but Southgate and the Boro hierarchy are not about to sanction a deal with the club in relegation trouble.
He said: "We may not be in a position to buy, but we all understand that and we work with what we have got, which should be a boost for the players who are here because it gives them an opportunity to play first-team football.
"We feel at this time of the year Stewart is such a talent, such an important player for us, there is no way of replacing him. We feel we need to keep a player of Stewart's quality.
"He has been brilliant. He enjoys being at this football club, he wants it to work at this football club.
"He is frustrated about where we are in the league and obviously another football club has unsettled him.
"But he gets out there and he trains and he works and he wants to do well for this club.
"All the while he is here, he will give everything he has got, I have got absolutely no concerns about that at all."