Southgate slams 'poor' Boro

27 December 2007 04:22
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate hopes to strengthen his struggling squad next month after slamming his side for their woeful performance in the Boxing Day defeat at Birmingham City. Boro produced one of their poorest displays of the campaign as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat at St Andrew's and, despite the recent wins against Arsenal and Derby County, look set to endure a difficult second half to the campaign battling to avoid relegation. A despondent Southgate admitted: "We didn't deserve anything from the game. I thought we were very, very poor in the first half and didn't get out of the traps. "I've heard people use the phrase 'we've turned the corner'. I knew we hadn't and the evidence was there for everyone to see. There's a tremendous amount of hard work to be done. "We have to roll up our sleeves and work together to get ourselves back on track. We have to go to Portsmouth and do that. "I think we let ourselves down because 3-0 is a very poor result. In this division you are only one result away from sliding back into problems. We had that bad result against West Ham on Saturday which put more pressure on the Birmingham game. "Now we have to respond. We've come through a tough run over the last few months and we must do it again. We have enough quality and character to do it but we didn't show enough against Birmingham. "We know the areas of the side which need strengthening. We'll do everything we can to improve the squad."

Source: ESA