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Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Southgate tips Alves to come good

Afonso Alves (left)
Alves hit a blank in Middlesbrough's home game with Newcastle

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has told misfiring striker Afonso Alves to keep working on his game and the goals will follow.

The Brazilian has scored just three times in 15 games for Boro this season and again drew a blank at the weekend.

"He wants it to happen and we're desperate for it to happen for him," Southgate told BBC Tees.

"He has got to keep practising on the training ground, get into good habits and things will happen for him."

Alves came close to grabbing a winner at home to Newcastle at the weekend, but again failed to hit the net as Boro had to settle for a goalless draw against their north-east rivals.

We have got to go to Hull and Fulham and it is a great incentive to go there and get some points

Gareth Southgate

Southgate added: "He's desperate to do well and he's desperate to score goals, but he has to continue doing the things he did on Saturday."

Boro missed a good chance to climb into the top half of the table after taking just a point from home games against Newcastle and Bolton.

They have not won a home game for over a month, but in contrast they are unbeaten away from the Riverside in four games.

And Southgate feels they have got a good chance to pick up some points with away trips to the KC Stadium and Craven Cottage, which sandwich a home game against Arsenal.

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"We have got to go on our travels now, but we have shown we can go and pick up points," he said.

"We have got to go to Hull and Fulham, who are just above us and it is a great incentive to go there and get some points.

"We have the pace to hurt teams so it doesn't hold any fear for us."

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see also
Middlesbrough 0-0 Newcastle
29 Nov 08 |  Premier League
FA to act over Mido abuse claims
01 Dec 08 |  Newcastle
Weather hits Boro reserve match
02 Dec 08 |  Middlesbrough


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