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No doubts over Alves - Southgate

Afonso Alves
Alves has scored nine goals for Boro since his switch in January

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has backed Brazilian striker Afonso Alves to rediscover his goal scoring touch after three games without a goal.

Despite his dry spell Alves, 27, was an important figure for Boro in the 1-1 draw with Everton and Southgate is confident the goals will start to come.

"He's such a good finisher he'll get those goals," he told BBC Tees.

"He made fantastic runs to get into those positions and there's a lot of good things there."

The Brazil international has three goals to his credit this season, the last coming in October's 2-0 win against Manchester City.

Alves joined Boro from Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen for a fee believed to be in excess of 10m in January 2008.

Meanwhile, the club is waiting for news on the condition of centre-back Chris Riggott, who hobbled off and was replaced by David Wheater in Sunday's game.

Southgate is hopeful the 28-year-old will return to first-team action in the short-term.

"He's got a hamstring injury so we've got to see how severe it is," he said.

"Obviously we're fortunate to have a decent replacement to come in. Hopefully Chris isn't too serious because he's played really well for us."

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see also
Everton 1-1 Middlesbrough
16 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Southgate satisfied with away point
16 Nov 08 |  Match of the Day
Give Alves more time - Southgate
07 Apr 08 |  Middlesbrough
Southgate expects Alves to shine
22 Feb 08 |  Middlesbrough
Alves wins AZ arbitration ruling
24 Jul 08 |  Middlesbrough
Brazilian Alves seals Boro switch
31 Jan 08 |  Middlesbrough

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