Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Southgate Says 'No' to Cup Bid

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Southgate Says 'No' to Cup Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Gareth Southgate has turned down an invitation for Boro to take part in the South Korean Peace Cup this summer.

The Boro boss vetoed the opportunity to fly out to Seoul for the lucrative competition because it will interfere with the manager's meticulous build-up plans for the new campaign.

He told the Evening Gazette: "We had the chance to go, but the timing is not too good and we felt it would not fit in with our plans."

The competition starts on July 12, which is not long after the Boro players return for pre-season.

Southgate, who was unable to make any plans last summer after being virtually thrust into the hot seat, is determined that his preparations will be organised and deliberate.

In fact the Boro boss revealed that he been working for some time on making sure that everything was in place for next season.

Southgate said: "There are some things that we wanted to look ahead at. We have completed our pre-season for next season.

"Some decisions have had to wait a little bit until we were mathematically safe.

"Hopefully we can now get our teeth into everything we want to do and it will be a busy period for us. We want to move forward as quickly as we can."

Southgate stressed that he would be much better prepared as a result of his first year in football management.

He said: "I have learned something every day in this job. It's been a very steep learning curve for me. I have enjoyed the challenge.

"But I speak for everyone when I say that we will also be stronger for this experience.

"We knew after only three or four games that it would be a tough season. We have always been chasing the game, but we have shown a lot of character at the same time.

"There are not many teams with a back four as young as ours. There are not many teams that have as many teenagers featuring in their squad. We have many things which can work to our advantage for the future."

Winning at Wigan was vital to settle everybody's nerves and allow Southgate and his staff to focus on the future.

The battling performance at the JJB Stadium was something that has largely been missing from Boro's form on the road, but Southgate was delighted with his team's response to the situation when the chips were down. …

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