No excuses from Southgate

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Football News

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate was critical of his side's performance at both ends of the pitch as the 4-1 defeat at Bolton left them in real trouble in 19th place in the Barclays Premier League.

Kevin Davies put Bolton ahead with his 12th league goal of the season in only the eighth minute, only for Gary O'Neil to equalise seven minutes before half-time. However, Gary Cahill fired home just before the interval, Matt Taylor curled in a fortuitous free-kick over the heads of the defence and Ricardo Gardner added a late fourth.

"We didn't do enough of the things we need to do to win football matches," said Southgate. "We defended really poorly and we haven't done enough to deserve anything from the game. To come here and lose 4-1 is very disappointing."

He added: "We didn't start very well defensively as a team, we were second to too many things, but we always looked like we would be a threat on the break."

The Middlesbrough manager added: "I don't think there was anything in the game at half-time in terms of the performances of the two teams.

"I thought we looked a threat at times throughout the afternoon, especially in the first half when we have hit the post and scored a very good goal.

"Having gone a goal behind we changed the shape to counter what Bolton were doing and then after the equaliser we were fine at 1-1.

"There was nothing in it and at that stage we looked to have the upper hand.

"But we have conceded really poor goals and, as always, the concession of goals changes emotions and the third is the key to it - we shot ourselves in the foot.

"All the while there is one [goal] in it there is hope but I think you could see in the body language of the team the lack of belief to come from two goals behind."

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Gary O'Neil
Bolton Wanderers
Matt Taylor
Premier League
Gareth Southgate
Gary Cahill
Kevin Davies
Ricardo Gardner

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