Date: 5th February 2009 at 9:58am
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1. Boro, though only 6 points behind City in the Premier League are currently second bottom and in dire need of a win as the league table threatens to open up. What’s gone wrong this season?

Our manager is not ruthless enough and has no clue on tactics. We started the season off in great fashion, but seem to have crumbled when we got a couple of injuries.

Our strikers have been wasteful in front of goal and Downing is still yet to score. Last season he scored 9 league goals for us.

2. How do you rate Boro’s performance in the January Transfer Window?

Embarrassing to be honest. Marlon King will not get us out of trouble. Southgate has missed the opportunity, like many other managers in trouble, to sign players on loan.

3. If you were Gareth Southgate, what would be the direction of your team talk before sending your players out at Eastlands this weekend?

For starters I would choose the right personnel to play your lot. 4-4-2: Turnbull, Hoyte, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, Johnson, O’Neil, Digard, Downing, Tuncay, Alves.

Then, I would say go out there and get at City from the off. If we play defensive from the start, then we will lose the game.

Your team has so much flair you’ll hurt us in the end the longer the game goes on at 0-0 plus the nerves will begin to set in for us.

4. What’s your verdict on the vitriol dished out to Man City, most notably by sports hacks this past transfer window?

I would say unfair because you guys getting a wealthy owner will only make the Premier League a better league. It will bring more talent to the league which in turn will bring more spectators.

Don’t worry about what the papers are saying – they are just jealous Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs fans. I welcome your position just as long as you go easy on us Saturday.

5. ‘The City Three Step challenge:’ What comes into your head when you think of Manchester City? Give us first the image you see, second the feeling you get and third the word that sums us up…

1. Georgi Kinkladze, he pops up in my head because he was around when our little fella ‘Juninho’ was playing. Good player!

2. Eruption! Your team is like a volcano that has been dormant for years, but is about to burst out with goals!

3. Under achievers in recent seasons. You should have been playing more European football. Sorry about Skippy saving Fowler’s penalty in 2005.

6. ‘Six Plus Five:’ FIFA President Sepp Blatter is continuing his campaign to impose a maximum quota of five overseas players on every English team. Do you agree or disagree with his proposal?

I have contrasting views on this one. I’m all for every foreigner in the world coming to the Premier League, I’m sure Gordon Brown is as well. It’s what makes it the best league in the world. But if the rule was enforced, then I would be quietly pleased. We often field a team that consists of a majority of English players. We would be in a strong position for many seasons if that happened.

7. What’s your prediction for Saturday?

My heart says 2-1 to us but my head is saying 2-1 to you guys. Alves notching!

Very many thanks and respect to Stuart and The Vital Boro team. Another brilliant interview.

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