Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Southgate Was the Perfect Role Model'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Southgate Was the Perfect Role Model'

Article excerpt

FORMER Middlesbrough managers Gareth Southgate and Gordon Strachan go head-to-head in tonight's Auld Firm derby at Wembley.

Rockliffe Park Academy graduate Tony McMahon played for the current England and Scotland bosses during their time in the Boro hotseat.

Southgate was his team-mate before taking charge of the club from June 2006 to October 2009. His direct replacement was Strachan, who lasted just a year before resigning.

In a special Gazette interview with Boro Editor PHILIP TALLENTIRE, McMahon reveals what it was like to play for two footballing icons.

McMahon on Southgate....

"Gareth was the captain when I was coming through, he was someone I looked up to massively. "Everyone wanted to be like him, as a player he was the perfect role model.

"He went from captain to manager overnight, it happened really quickly.

"The respect was there straight away from what he did as a player, everyone straight away respected him.

"At first it was probably a bit weird for him as manager, it was tough for him because he had to make big decisions.

"I remember when he replaced George Boateng with Julio Arca as captain, that was a big call.

"It was a shock to the team when he went because we had done the pre-season and we had started well, we were right in the mix and had managed to hold on to a few players. Then he was gone.

"I know we got relegated but we started really well in the Championship.

"I hope Gareth gets the job full time. It's a massive job, one that any Englishman would want.

"We've had a couple of good results and people are now talking about the football now not off field issues."

Gareth McMahon on Strachan....

"A lot changed under Gordon, he brought in a lot of lads that he knew from Scotland.

"He possibly changed a few things too quickly.

"I think he made decisions on players straight away, maybe too soon in some cases. There were lads who were good enough to play and do a job for the team who missed out at times. …

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