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Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Downing oozes class - Southgate

Stewart Downing
Downing impressed in England's 2-1 win against Germany on Wednesday

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has insisted he was not surprised to see winger Stewart Downing impress in England's 2-1 win in Germany.

The 24-year-old has been criticised for past international performances, but Southgate feels Downing is beginning to show his club form for England.

"It was his best display for England," Southgate told BBC Tees.

"He went into it in good form. His class is permanent but his form is temporary, and that has been proved."

Southgate will now hope Downing can continue his good run when Boro welcome Bolton to the Riverside on Saturday.

And on the back of five games unbeaten, Southgate is keen for the Teessiders not to drop that record against Gary Megson's side.

"You're conscious that at some point will lose, and a lot of people will think it will be this week because they'll say 'typical Boro' and we'll let them down," he said.

"I'm very conscious that not a lot of them thought we would go to Villa and Everton and get anything there.

"I'm not afraid of losing, and what we want to do is try to attack the game against Bolton and win it.

"If we have that approach then we'll play well and giving a good performance will lead to getting a good result. We're in good form and enjoying our football."

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see also
Capello delights in England win
20 Nov 08 |  Internationals
No doubts over Alves - Southgate
17 Nov 08 |  Middlesbrough

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