West Brom 3 Middlesbrough 0: Fortune favours Albion as Southgate rues luck
19 January 2009 03:47
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Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough are on a poor run in the Premier League
Gareth Southgate was advised to give up football and become a travel agent when he was 18 and he may wish he had taken up the suggestion if there are many days like this.
The advice from Alan Smith, then his manager at Crystal Palace, did not stop Southgate carving out a 17-year career and winning 57 England caps, but he is going to need all that determination to make a success of his managerial career.
Although Afonso Alves missed chances at regular intervals, the bottom club at the start of play deserved their third successive home League win.
Middlesbrough have plummeted down the table after a shocking run of only four points from nine games, but Southgate is still convinced he is the man to lead them to safety.
He said: 'You need strong leadership at this time. It's not a case of anybody ducking a challenge. The key is to get the best out of the squad we have. We were halfway up the table seven or eight weeks ago but there is a loss of confidence after this run of results.
'It may sound ridiculous but we are not that far away from getting a decent run of results. To read 3-0 in print is a nightmare but it does not reflect the game before we went down to 10 men.'
Chris Brunt fired home West Brom's opening goal
In fact, Boro were two down by the time Didier Digard was shown a straight red card just after the hour for an over-the-top tackle on Borja Valero.
Chris Brunt scored the opener after only four minutes when he was played onside by Tony McMahon's back-headerandthennetted with a deflection off the same defender.
Albion's new signing Marc-Antoine Fortune, whose international clearance arrived hours before kick-off, added the second on 54 minutes when he redirected Robert Koren's shot.
Robert Koren celebrates with team-mates after he scored West Brom's third goal
Koren wrapped it up midway through the second half when the man of the match converted Brunt's pass.
Mowbray was pleased with new boy Fortune and said: 'People questioned his scoring record, yet you can see the benefits of a centre forward who can get hold of the ball and see runners go past him, as well as get into scoring areas.
'Marc may not have scored many goals at Nancy, but French football can be like watching chess.'
West Brom 3 Middlesbrough 0: How it happened
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