Southgate: We're not safe yet
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gareth Southgate admits his team still needs points to guarantee their Premiership status.
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate admits his team still need points to guarantee their Premiership survival.
Boro are currently seven points above the bottom three, but are still one point off the 40-point mark - which most teams regard as the level required to guarantee safety in the top-flight.
"Mathematically we still need points. I don't know what it will take, 37, 39 that we have got, could be 42. It's hard to know," said Southgate after seeing Boro lose their fifth match in six games, as they went down 2-0 at Liverpool.
"But the important thing is that we perform at this level and show this amount of commitment.
"When we haven't in recent weeks we have left ourselves open to criticism, if we perform in this manner we will get the results we need at the end of the season."
Southgate was again asked about the long-term future of on-loan star Jonathan Woodgate.
"We can only do what we have been doing all season with him. He was excellent against Liverpool and he has enjoyed working with us," he said.
"But he knows the situation, we are not one of the top four and we do not have the resources to compete with those teams.
"But there will be a lot of change at Middlesbrough in the summer and we hope he wants to be a part of that.
"We speak all the time, and he needs time to think about things. At the moment we are in the middle of a busy period of matches and everyone wants to focus on that, the other side of things will take care of itself."