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Boro's new signing Gareth Southgate
"There is a real optimism at this club"
 real 56k

Boro boss Steve McClaren
"Gareth is a player the young players can look up to and aspire to"
 real 56k

Southgate's new team-mate Ugo Ehiogu
"He is the sort of quality that we should be attracting to the club"
 real 14k

Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Southgate: Boro on verge of new era
Steve McClaren and Gareth Southgate
Southgate (r) poses with his new manager McClaren
Middlesbrough's new 6.5m defender Gareth Southgate believes the club are set for great things.

The 30-year-old England international was unveiled at Boro's Hurworth training ground on Thursday after signing a four-year deal at the club on Wednesday.

He said he was confident that his move to the Riverside Stadium would be a good one.

"I wanted a new challenge. I really believe that something positive is going to happen here," he said.

  Southgate factfile
1970: Born Watford on September 3.
1988: Joins Crystal Palace.
1990: Makes debut for Crystal Palace.
1995: Joins Aston Villa for 3m in July.
1996: Skippers Villa to 3-0 win over Leeds in League Cup final. Plays key role Euro 96 but misses crucial penalty in semi-final shootout with Germany.
2000: Leads Villa to FA Cup final, lose to Chelsea 1-0. Stuns Villa by announcing he wants a transfer.
"It's going to be fantastic as we start a new era."

Southgate said the fact that Steve McClaren was Boro's new manager was a big draw for him.

"I had no hesitation when I spoke to Steve and looked at some of the faces here.

"I'm coming to a club with a manager I've got a great deal of respect for who really wants to go ahead.

"He wants to bring in innovative new training ideas, he's worked with the best in the country and knows what it takes to be a winner.

"I think everyone here will benefit from that. I want to improve as a player and with the coaching staff here I believe I can do that."

McClaren was delighted with his new acquisition.

"There are four main reasons why I chased Gareth," he said. "He's a damned good player, he's got great experience at the very top level and he's a model professional.

"And he's a tremendous leader both on and off the field. I don't believe you can have too many of them.

"I want people here that younger players can look up to and aspire to and I believe in Gareth I've got that."

McClaren worked with Southgate when he was a coach with the England team.

Steve McClaren
McClaren: Believes Southgate is a leader
"One of the things that impressed me was when we were on the England trip together in Italy," McClaren said.

"There was talk about a split in the camp - which was nonsense - but every meal time Gareth was mixing very well, eating at different tables and talking to a different player at each session."

Southgate trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Wednesday and met up again with Steve Harrison, who last week completed his own move from Villa Park.

Harrison had been Gregory's number two but moved to Boro to take up the post of first-team coach.

See also:

10 Jul 01 |  West Ham Utd
Hammers set to sign James
11 Jul 01 |  Aston Villa
Villa step up Mellberg bid
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