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Gibson Feels Pain Of Boro's Plight
Published : 25 Mar 2009 16:09:00
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson is hurting every bit as much as the most disappointed fan as his club fights for Premier League survival. Gibson, who moved to assure manager Gareth Southgate that his job is safe on Tuesday, freely admits the Teessiders are in severe danger of slipping out of the top flight. Boro's plight has led some fans to voice their frustration, and while the chairman remains hopeful of survival, he admits he knows exactly the emotions they are experiencing. Gibson told the Evening Gazette: "I really understand the disappointment that the fans are feeling. "I can tell you that I am hurting too. It's not a personal situation we are in. It affects everybody, not just inside of the club, but out of it too. "It affects people's lives and therefore it matters. "When you look at all the work that has gone on over the last 10 to 12 years, going back to the days of Bryan Robson, it's all been with the Premier League in mind. "We know that the work could be undone this season and I can give every fan a guarantee that every single person at the football club is working flat out to try to ensure that it doesn't happen. "But we know that nobody has a right to be in the Premier League. You have to earn that right and that's what we are trying to do." Boro slipped deeper into trouble after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Stoke, a result which left them four points behind 17th-placed Blackburn, and with an inferior goal difference. In the eyes of many they are now doomed along with bottom side West Brom, but Gibson and his manager do not subscribe to that theory. They face a trip to Bolton after the international break and then Hull and Fulham at the Riverside Stadium in quick succession in a series of fixtures which could decide their destiny. Gibson knows exactly what is at stake over the remaining eight games and, while he is confident salvation is in his club's own hands, he is equally aware of the penalty for failure. He said: "We are where we are and we have to deal with it. I still believe that this set of players is good enough to get us out of the mess in which we have put ourselves. "That's not blind faith. We are in a very difficult situation and we are not fooling ourselves. Can we stay up? Yes. Can we go down? Yes. "What we can do is to try to influence the situation so that things turn for us. "We have to keep people believing that we can do it. We have to keep everything in perspective and make sure everybody keeps their chins up."