Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Time to Bag Yet Another Big Scalp, Says Boss

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Time to Bag Yet Another Big Scalp, Says Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

We like taking big scalps - let's take another one!

These will be Gareth Southgate's final words to his players before they run out for tomorrow's mouth-watering FA Cup quarter-final clash against Manchester United.

The Boro boss, who is sweating on the fitness of key midfielders Julio Arca and Lee Cattermole, will point out to his team that they have a great record against top sides.

Arca, who suffered a dead-leg in Saturday's goalless draw at Newcastle, and Cattermole, who limped off with a knee injury at St James' Park, face late fitness tests but Southgate is optimistic both will be declared fit to play in such a massive fixture.

Boro have a fantastic record against the Premiership's elite clubs and have been particularly successful against United.

The club have lost just two games against Premiership top six opponents this season, including their last defeat at the Riverside, which came controversially at the hands of United on December 2.

Southgate said: "We have achieved some big results against the top teams because we have a habit of performing against them. We have beaten Chelsea at the Riverside, we have drawn twice with Arsenal and we have drawn with Liverpool.

"That's in addition to what we achieved last season and the teams we beat on the way to the UEFA Cup final.

"The great thing is that we have shown that these kind of games don't hold any fears for us.

"We are still under no illusion that we have to be at our best to have any chance of winning the game tomorrow. But it's a great opportunity for us."

Boro went down to United in December only because Cristiano Ronaldo's dive fooled referee Chris Foy and he awarded a penalty, which put the visitors in the driving seat.

If anything, that performance will have helped Boro believe they can beat the Red Devils second time around. …

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