Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro in Need of Shake-Up

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro in Need of Shake-Up

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jack Pickering

A shake-up is coming at the Riverside Stadium ( and the sooner the better, writes Jack Pickering.

Teesside's fans suffered another woeful Middlesbrough display against Aston Villa and need to see something positive happen if they are to be tempted to renew their season tickets.

Saturday's no-holds barred surrender rubber-stamped Gareth Southgate's belief there must be huge changes.

Several players, like Malcolm Christie, are out of contract and it looks likely they will leave on free transfers.

But the biggest challenge for Southgate is to find players of the mind-set he wants. Boro traditionally struggle when there is nothing at stake and the manager needs to get rid of this mentality.

Southgate, still believing that some players can prove him wrong, said: "We have five games left and people have the opportunity to make an impression before the end of the season. We have to make sure we pick up results.

"I said last week that I was learning about my players all the time. I have learned a lot about them against Villa.

"I have been pretty clear in my own mind of what things need to be done. We want to get results. We have to show the right application to get them.

"We have not been winning enough games but there are still games to be won. We go to Liverpool and Manchester United this week and we have to go there with the right attitude."

The defeat on Saturday left Boro in 14th in the Premiership and seemingly without hope of reaching the top half.

Southgate is still suffering from up-and-down results and admits he was more frustrated than ever watching his side capitulate.

He said: "You want to influence and affect the game as much as you can. But when you are standing on the sidelines there is nothing much you can do about it.

"You need belief to step forward and step up the play. As a team we have had that belief in the past but it didn't happen against Villa.

"One or two players did well individually, but collectively we didn't do enough.

"We don't have an enormous amount of experience in the side because we have a lot of young players.

"Villa had more energy and more pace than us. …

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