Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Gareth Blasts Rumour Factory; 'People Can Now Print Anything without Foundation'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Gareth Blasts Rumour Factory; 'People Can Now Print Anything without Foundation'

Article excerpt

Byline: By Damian Spellman

MIDDLESBROUGH boss Gareth Southgate has moved to dispel the "Chinese whispers" surrounding the club.

Chairman Steve Gibson came out at the weekend to dismiss suggestions he was lining up a replacement for the 37-year-old should results not improve markedly, while rumours that Egyptian striker Mido had gone Awol have refused to go away.

However, Southgate last night attempted to set the record straight after several weeks of speculation.

He said: "As with every story at the moment that surrounds this football club, there is half an element of truth and half an element that builds momentum through Chinese whispers.

"Everything gathers momentum at this time and with the internet being how it is now, people can print anything without foundation and a story can build up out of nothing."

Talk that Gibson had telephoned senior players to assure them Southgate's position was safe came after he gave an interview to former England and Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson for his Mail On Sunday column.

Southgate said: "He has not phoned senior players, he was at the training ground and saw them. Steve was here last week talking to Bobby Robson and two or three of the senior players were here.

"I know he was cheesed off with one or two articles that have been written and he just wanted to put them straight. Sometimes players can wonder if the manager's position is OK because they see other clubs reacting the way they have. I can say it to them, but if the chairman says it, then it has more weight."

The rumours surrounding Mido have been circulating for some time, although after a short trip home he has been working on Teesside to recover from the groin injury which has sidelined him since the 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea on October 20.

Southgate said: "There have been stories about Mido going back to Egypt without permission, which is nonsense. …

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