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Southgate blasts woeful Boro
05 Mar 2009 - 08:20:08
Gareth Southgate was baffled by the paucity of his side's display as Middlesbrough slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Boro had beaten West Ham United in the FA Cup before securing a 2-0 victory over Liverpool on Saturday, only to produce one of their poorest displays of the season at White Hart Lane.
The result left Boro entrenched in the bottom three, but Southgate thought his side got entirely what they deserved.
"We allowed Tottenham to play how they like to and, as good as we were at the weekend, we were poor tonight," he blasted.
"We created some decent openings and had some decent chances and there was always a feeling we could get something, even in the second half, but when you concede goals like we did, you shoot yourselves in the foot.
"Because of the way we defended we got what we deserved - a good hiding and a lesson.
"We don't seem to handle it well when we get pats on the back. We can't afford to be anything less than 100 per cent committed.
"We didn't respond well when we went behind, too many heads dropped.
"We didn't do the basics, we didn't get close enough, we dropped too deep, there was too much space between defence and midfield and Tottenham exploited that.
"We looked a threat going forward but what we've done in recent weeks is keep clean sheets, and we didn't look anywhere near that solid as a team tonight. Collectively, we haven't defended well enough.
"We've let ourselves down and it will be interesting to see how we respond. It just shows everybody how much work there's to be done.
"There's a lot of football to go. It's still very much in our hands but we've seen we're not good enough to turn up and win just by playing football.
"Hopefully it was just a bad night and we can put it behind us because I don't think we could defend that badly again as a team."