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Southgate down but not out
25 May 2009 - 10:52:55
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has promised to make major changes to the squad if given the chance to manage them in the Championship next season.
Boro slipped out of the Premier League after losing 2-1 at West Ham United on the final day of the season.
Speaking after the match, Southgate insisted he remains the right man to the take the club back to the top-flight - albeit after a summer of major squad surgery.
"I would like to stay," he said. "I think I've proven (myself) for the first two-and-a-half years.
"Nothing has been discussed with the chairman, we have to sit down this week and plan more definitely what is going to happen.
"It will be a tough challenge and we'll have to improve.
"But we're ready to make those changes because it clearly hasn't worked this year.
"There will be personal agendas and as a club we will have to bring some money in to go forward.
"There are also situations I want to change. Inevitably, there will be big changes to the playing squad."
Meanwhile, Southgate believes the players that ultimately remain at the club will return stronger from the heartbreak of relegation.
"Everyone is down in the dressing room but I told them they needed to understand the reasons why this happened," he added.
"This last six months has been very hard but you have to go through these painful things to come out stronger and better.
"Tonight we'll grieve for what has happened but tomorrow we'll come out fighting."