Gareth Southgate has been handed a boost in Middlesbrough's fight against relegation after Bolton manager Gary Megson rubbished suggestions the Teessiders are already dead and buried.
Southgate's men lie four points adrift of Barclays Premier League safety with only eight games remaining ahead of their trip to the Reebok Stadium tomorrow.
Many pundits believe the Teessiders canÂ start planning for life in the Coca-Cola Championship but Megson does not subscribe to that theory and said: "Middlesbrough have not gone at all - nowhere near gone - and if they beat us they are right back in it."
He added: "They have got some real top quality players up there.
"People make an assumption that this will happen and that will happen. It doesn't work out like that.
"Middlesbrough beat Liverpool recently and I don't think many people expected that. It's far from over."
Megson has pointed to his own side's flirtation with relegation last season when they looked doomed at the start of April.
Almost a year ago to the day, Bolton were thumped 4-0 at Villa and were left with a dismal tally of 26 points with just five games remaining.
To Megson's credit he engineered a remarkable late rally which harvested three wins and two draws from the five games to safeguard theÂ Trotters' top-flight status.
Megson recalled: "Ourselves and Fulham were deemed to be relegated at this time last year. People looked at us with five games and it was openly out there that Bolton had gone. Those people were wrong. We took 11 points from the last 15 and we hadn't done anything like that in previous games last season."
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