Gibson backs Southgate for relegation battle

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The Independent Football

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has backed under fire manager Gareth Southgate.

Middlesbrough have slipped into the relegation zone having failed to follow up their victory over title chasing Liverpool a couple of weeks ago.

With just eight games remaining Boro are four points from safety, but Gibson refuses to believe sacking the youngest manager in English football is the answer.

The Boro chairman told the club's official website: "I have spoken with a lot of fans over the last few weeks and they ask me about Gareth Southgate.

"But the magic wand in our situation isn't sacking Gareth Southgate.

"Of course, everybody has their opinion in football and I understand the frustration of the fans.

"I have always said that we have a knowledgeable crowd at Middlesbrough and you have to respect that.

"I take on board the views of the fans because I care as much as they do. But if I was to sack Gareth Southgate at this stage, how would it help the situation?"

Middlesbrough travel to Bolton after the international break.