Yakubu aims dig at Boro

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Fresh from helping his new club, Everton, overcome his old one, Middlesbrough, Aiyegbeni Yakubu has inflicted another blow on the Teessiders with a claim that will hurt Gareth Southgate and others at the Riverside: "I don't think the ambition is there any more."

Everton won 2-0 at Boro on Tuesday to leave David Moyes's side 16 points and nine places above Southgate's, a situation that Yakubu clearly sees as justification for his 11m transfer in August. "I wanted to move to a club which had ambition," Yakubu said. "I think that Everton have that. They want to play in Europe and finish in the first six. I am lucky to be here. I am really happy. My football has been good and I've no regrets. I just wish Boro the best of luck.

"Before I left Portsmouth I looked at Middlesbrough and saw they had ambition, but I don't think the ambition is there any more. At the moment, with no disrespect to the players, Boro are not that ambitious and that is why I had to leave. I would not say anything bad about their players but I just wanted to play for a club that was in Europe."

Yakubu was given a rough reception from Middlesbrough fans for his perceived disloyalty but he said he expected that and added that he had decided to leave the club once he knew Mark Viduka would not be signing a new contract.

"Before the end of last season I had already made up my mind to leave," Yakubu said. "It was a blow to lose Mark Viduka as he was a great player who I enjoyed playing with. He is a great person, too. I wanted to carry on playing with him but it was not possible." Together Viduka and Yakubu scored 26 of Boro's 44 League goals last season.