Crosby backs Southgate to lift Boro

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Assistant manager Malcolm Crosby is backing Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate to turn things around after seeing the club slip into relegation trouble.

Boro found themselves inside the Barclays Premier League's bottom three in the wake of Saturday's demoralising 3-0 defeat by West Brom, which led to some frank admissions by the former England defender.

He said: "Gareth said a lot of honest things after the West Brom game at the weekend, but that's the kind of man he is."

Southgate has insisted since he got the job at the Riverside Stadium that, despite the famed loyalty of chairman Steve Gibson to his managers, he would be shown the door if he did not get results.

The reverse at The Hawthorns left Boro without a win in 10 league games, and the manager knowing things have to improve soon. However, Crosby is confident the 38-year-old will get it right.

He added: "The one thing he would never do is try to hide from the facts. He was very, very frank with his comments.

"But one thing that Gareth Southgate will never do is to shirk a challenge, and he will tackle this one.

"His job - and my job - is to work as hard as we can to turn things around.

Boro take a break from league action this weekend, when they take on Coca-Cola Championship leaders Wolves in the FA Cup fourth round.

"We have got another game coming up this weekend and that's the beauty of football, you have always got another game to look forward to."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

West Bromwich Albion
Gareth Southgate
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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