Southgate admits Alves letdown but backs Brazil striker to keep Middlesbrough up
12 March 2009 05:21
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Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has backed record signing Afonso Alves to help save the club from relegation.The Brazilian striker, signed from Heerenveen for £12million last year, has struggled to adapt to English football and has managed just 13 goals in all competitions since his big money move.
And although Middlesbrough have scored fewer Barclays Premier League goals than any other club this season, Southgate is confident Alves can fire Middlesbrough to safety.
"I think in terms of the number of goals he has been able to score, he'll be disappointed that he hasn't got as many as he might have done, because we have had some good chances," said Southgate."But I still believe he can score goals between now and the end of the season.
"As far as we are concerned we have got a squad of players that have got to keep us in this division. Everyone has got a key part to play in that.
"It is easy to highlight one or two players but you win and lose as a team. We have conceded too many goals and haven't scored enough."