FA Cup glory will not be sacrificed, says Southgate

The manager of Middlesbrough, Gareth Southgate, will not allow the club's fight for Premier League survival to take precedence over their dreams of FA Cup glory. The Teessiders are languishing inside the relegation zone without a win in 14 League games. They face title contenders Liverpool at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday well aware that a failure to end that record could leave them in even deeper trouble.

However, Southgate knows just how infrequently the opportunity comes along for players at clubs outside the top four to win trophies, and he is not about to give up on the FA Cup as he prepares his troops for tonight's fifth-round replay against West Ham United.

The former England defender was in the Boro side which lost 1-0 to the Hammers at Villa Park in the semi-finals in 2006 a matter of weeks before leading them out for the Uefa Cup final against Seville, and he admits that tie was one that got away.

Asked if his job on the pitch that day was easier than his current one, Southgate said with a smile: "I don't know because I was struggling then to keep up with people, so I would say I am better served being where I am tomorrow than where I was that day.

"No, that's history. It was a game that, with everything that surrounded it, there seemed to be a bit of destiny about them getting through. We had our minds focused on the Uefa Cup, really, at that time, which was a missed opportunity in a sense. That's the way it was then – but tomorrow is completely different."

Boro drew 1-1 at Upton Park in the first game when only a late Herita Ilunga equaliser denied the visitors victory at the first attempt.

The winners tonight face a trip to Everton in the last eight, but having seen his side blow a gilt-edged chance last season when they lost at home to eventual runners-up Cardiff City in the quarter-finals, Southgate will take nothing for granted. Defeat by the Championship outfit marked a low point in the club's season, but taught them a series of valuable lessons, and he hopes they will be put to good use this time around.

Southgate said: "That was a game we got wrong, but we learnt a lot of lessons from that. We were stronger to the end of the season through that experience last year. But this is completely different. The year before, we got to the quarter-finals and we played Manchester United, so the draw wasn't kind to us that year.

"We know the route that's there to us now, but West Ham is all we are thinking about," added Southgate.

The disappointment around the Riverside as Cardiff celebrated an unlikely victory was palpable, and Boro's struggles this season have given their fans little to cheer.

That was not helped last week when some supporters received letters asking them to make less noise at games amid complaints from people sitting nearby, sparking a scornful response in the town and further afield.

Boro will be without midfielder Didier Digard, who has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with knee ligament and thigh injuries after a crunching tackle from Boro old boy Lee Cattermole, and the cup-tied Marlon King, although Andrew Taylor could return from an ankle problem.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss