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1. Nine games into a new Premier League season and Middlesbrough are in a mid table position. How’s the form?
Our form is up and down at the moment. We had a great start to the season and then had a bit of a blip against Portsmouth, West Brom and Sunderland. We’ve had some mixed fortunes in front of goal and also at the back. After the draw at Blackburn I’m hopeful that we will gather momentum now because we have two home games in a row.
2. How did you rate Boro’s transfer dealings this past summer?
I was pleased that Southgate showed the door to all the deadwood in the squad. That was needed. He also added young talented players. Didier Digard looks a good signing and Marvin Emnes has shown he has pace and creativity to become a good player. The Luke Young transfer was understandable because of the money we received but it has made us vulnerable down the right hand side since his departure. Justin Hoyte is still young and will become a better payer once he plays more games.
3. What’s your viewpoint on Gareth Southgate’s performance as a manager? Can he take you higher?
Southgate has a plan in motion and so far has proved he is more than capable of taking Boro onwards and upwards. It’s never going to be an overnight success story because we do not have the funding like other teams have, no mention of Man City.
4. Here come Manchester City five months after you pasted us 8-1. Smell the fear or relax with a beer?
That result was a ‘one off’ and will never happen again. Your team will be up for this game and will cause us problems with your pace and flair. Relax with a beer!
5. Who of Manchester City’s relatively young squad would you love to see in a Boro shirt and who would you like to send us in a part ex?
100% Robinho! We have longed for a creative midfielder since Juninho. I look at Robinho and think he has the same skills and pace that the ‘little fella’ had when he was playing at the Riverside. You can have Gary O’Neil, he gets you zero goals a season and likes to play the ball backwards more often than forward.
6. YOU are the new Premier League Chief Executive. You have been granted three measures / ideas which will go unopposed by all 20 clubs to improve the top flight game in England. Choose them wisely…
The first one would be to have video replays at games and so referees get things right.
The second would be to limit the teams to only 10 foreigners in a squad. This would encourage the British players to come through.
The third one would be to limit the foreign payers to 5 in a team for a match. It would be beneficial for the English game.
7. Go on then. Wednesday night’s result?
I will go for a home win. We have players returning at the right time, which is unusual for us because we normally start to get injuries this time of the year. We can start to get a run going with the next two home games so sorry, I think we’ll beat you again but it will be a lot closer this time around.
Many thanks and respect going out to Stuart and the Vital Boro team.
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