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Middlesbrough Football Club

  • Nickname:Boro
  • Founded:1876
  • Manager:Aitor Karanka
  • Ground:Riverside Stadium
  • Capacity:35049
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Late penalty hurts Southgate

13 Mar 2008 - 08:10:38

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is considering changing his approach towards referees after hitting out at the decision to award Aston Villa a penalty in Wednesday's 1-1 draw.

Boro had looked to be on course for three vital points in their battle to beat the drop after Stewart Downing fired them into a first-half lead at Villa Park.

But the home side were given the opportunity to earn a point when referee Steve Bennett ruled Luke Young handled an Ashley Young cross in the box.

"We are maintaining our policy about not complaining about referees but I do question whether it is helping us," said a disgruntled Southgate.

"I have seen the incident again and our lad has got his back to the play.

"The shot is hit from only a couple of yards away and I don't see the handball is anything but involuntary.

"I'm bitterly disappointed for my players because we've done so well tonight.

"Yes, we should have wrapped the game up with a couple of chances we had, but we are fighting for our lives and the penalty was a very difficult decision to take."

Meanwhile, Southgate believes his players won back some respect from their supporters following their dismal FA Cup quarter-final exit at the weekend to Cardiff City.

"I said we couldn't guarantee a result at Villa but we could guarantee the right attitude and right type of performance," he continued.

"We have gone a tiny step to regaining some of the respect we lost from our fans the other day.

"We have still got a long way to go but it was an important point."


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