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Southgate takes upbeat stance
11 May 2009 - 12:53:08
Gareth Southgate thinks his Middlesbrough side are closer to safety now than they were two months ago.
A victory for the Teessiders at Newcastle United would draw them level on points with free-falling Hull City who are currently just above the relegation zone.
The Tigers' recent dire run has given Boro the chance to stay up, even though they have taken only five points from the last 24 on offer since early March themselves.
Southgate said: "You end up over 38 games where you deserve to, not just based on the quality of your football or anything else.
"There's a multitude of things which determine why football clubs end up in the positions they do.
"But in a strange way, we're probably closer to survival than we were eight weeks ago because the points needed to stay up seems to reduce every week.
"We're still in the relegation zone as it stands and yet, as we sit here today, one win could take us out of the bottom three, which is remarkable given the run we've had.
"We're lucky that we still have a chance of getting out of it, and we've got to take advantage of that."