Davies reveals Boro ambitions
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Andrew Davies insists he wants to win a place at the heart of Middlesbrough's back four.
Middlesbrough's Andrew Davies insists he remains focused on winning a place at the heart of the back four, despite the arrivals of Jonathan Woodgate and Robert Huth.
Boro boss Gareth Southgate has employed Davies as a full back so far this season with his two summer signings establishing themselves as the club's first choice centre backs.
Despite being forced out on the flanks, Davies refuses to give up hope of a return to his more natural position at The Riverside.
"I would love to play centre half because I really do feel that is my best position, but in training with [defensive coach] Steve Harrison I am starting to learn the right back position and getting better with every game," Davies explained.
"There is a lot of competition, but it is healthy for the club if there is a lot of competition.
"That is why I am in the position I am in now. I have just got my head down and tried to get the better of whoever was in my position."
Boro have made a stuttering start to the new campaign, with some critics questioning Southgate's appointment at the helm, with no managerial experience to speak of.
But Davies has backed his boss to the hilt and is adamant the players are working their hardest to justify the faith shown in Southgate by the board.
"When he got the job, I was happy because I felt he would give me my chance if I earned it," Davies added.
"He always used to tell me last season whenever he felt that I played well, and I appreciated that.
"Gareth lays it down. Nobody sees it. He comes across as a nice guy, but in the changing room - and deservedly so if we are not performing on the pitch - he will definitely give it to us.
"We know when it is tough, he will be straight on to us and tell us exactly what we are doing wrong.
"But the fact is, we have got so much respect for him, we want to help make his job as easy as we possibly can."
With eight points to show from their opening eight games so far, Boro will be anxious to ease some more of the pressure off the manager with a win in the North East derby against Newcastle United on Sunday.