Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

DON'T BOO US! Riggott Plea to Fans as Cattermole Blasts Back in Association With: MSV SPORT

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

DON'T BOO US! Riggott Plea to Fans as Cattermole Blasts Back in Association With: MSV SPORT

Article excerpt

Byline: By ANDREW WILKINSON

CHRIS Riggott has refused to blast the Boro fans whose abuse was ringing in the players' ears as they left the Riverside pitch.

But battling midfielder Lee Cattermole came out fighting. In a post match radio interview, he insisted the players were working their socks off and if people were just turning up to criticise, they would be better off staying at home.

Riggott, who impressed against a talented Spurs attack in the 1-1 draw, was more conciliatory. He said he understood the fans' frustration, despite Boro ending a run of four Premier League defeats with a battling draw.

Riggott said: "It was important to stop the rot, which we did, although perhaps some of the fans didn't appreciate it.

"I won't criticise the fans. They have every right to saywhat they feel. It is only a small section, but the players hear them.

"However it's only their way of showing the frustration that we all feel at times. And at least those fans making the noise are turning up for the game.

"They show commitment, and whether they boo or jeer, we know they want us to do well.

"And it cuts both ways. We have to perform well to lift them," added the 27-year-old, who replaced Jonathan Woodgate in the defence.

Boro boss Gareth Southgate urged frustrated fans to direct their ire at him rather take it out on his players.

Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was singled out for abuse after Darren Bent fired Spurs ahead and even received an ironic cheer when he caught a late cross.

Southgate said: "What we have to have, no matter what people think of what we are doing, is the crowd with us.

"

If they choose to criticise me, fine, but the players need every bit of support they can get.

"I think anybody can see that if the crowd turn on the team then that would be detrimental to performances.

"It's a period where people are going to be critical of everything we do because of where we are. …

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