Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gareth Is Gunning for a Morale Boost

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gareth Is Gunning for a Morale Boost

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Pickering

GARETH Southgate is targeting another result that will boost Middlesbrough morale at Arsenal today after admitting his side's FA Cup exit still feels like "a death in the family".

Boro crashed to a wretched quarterfinal defeat at home to Championship club Cardiff on Sunday as a possible route into Europe vanished, but have bounced back since with a solid midweek draw at Aston Villa.

And Boro boss Southgate wants his side to follow it up by giving the deflated Teesside public something to shout about again when they take on the Premier League leaders in their 5.15pm clash at the Emirates Stadium.

"The memory of the Cardiff game is something that will live with me for a long, long time," said Southgate.

"It felt the same as it did to the rest of the town - like a death in the family. If we bump into the fans they are still talking about Sunday, and understandably so.

"But we can't beat ourselves up too much about it and dwell on it as a team, we have to move on. We did that against Villa and we've got to do that again at Arsenal and keep repaying the faith of the fans - and that means performances."

Boro are the only team to beat the Gunners in the league this season and held Arsene Wenger's side to a 1-1 draw on their Emirates debut last term.

Southgate says the London encounter represents one of his side's biggest tests of the current campaign but is quietly confident they can emerge with something if they raise their game.

"It's as big a challenge as you can face going to Arsenal, they play some cracking football," said the former England defender.

"They have only lost the one game, which shows you the size of the task. But then we have to remember that one game was against us.

"We got a good result there last year and if we can follow on from the manner of our performance against Aston Villa, there is no reason why we can't go there and do the business. …

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