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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 12:07 GMT
Southgate hails midfield pairing
George Boateng (left) and Mohamed Shawky
Shawky (right) made his first Boro start since January (Getty)
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has praised midfielders Mohamed Shawky and George Boateng for their role in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.

The duo were pivotal in a performance that did much to erase the memory of the FA Cup exit to Cardiff and Southgate was delighted.

"We asked Boateng and Shawky to do a sitting job and they stopped Villa from playing," he told BBC Tees.

"Shawky plays in a disciplined way and they both did a terrific job tonight."

Today I felt it was just right to change that midfield

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate

Making way for the pair were Brazilian midfielder Fabio Rochemback and his Argentine team-mate Julio Arca who did not even feature among the substitutes.

However Southgate insisted that Arca is still very much part of his plans.

"I felt with Julio he just needs that break from the team. He's a fantastic player, he's very much with us and he understands why I left him out," he said.

"Today I felt it was just right to change that midfield."



SEE ALSO
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Middlesbrough sign Egypt's Shawky
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Boateng agrees Boro switch
02 Aug 02 |  Middlesbrough


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