Middlesbrough’s defeat to Cardiff in the last 8 of the FA Cup at the weekend was definitely something that rips apart Boro’s season even more but manager Gareth Southgate insists that his team needs to put the FA Cup exit behind and look towards the future.
Southgate’s men are battling for Premiership survival and they next face Europe-bounded Aston Villa and Southgate says that they need to beat Villa:
We know that we have let everybody down as a team.
And the only way that we can respond to that is to put on a performance at Aston Villa that starts to try and re-build the relationship with the supporters.
We are all hurt by what happened on Sunday enormously and I could stand here and talk for hours, but they only way to put things right is on the field.
We decided we had to discuss what happened because I have to learn the lessons in terms of did we get the preparation right. The players have to learn the lessons of what we could have done better.
We all take responsibility for a result like that, but the ultimate responsibility lies with me.
We have to look forward very quickly to the last 10 games of the season. That is all we can affect now.
Nothing we can say or do will heal the wounds of Sunday. But we have got to make sure that we perform at our very best in the last 10 games to start to re-build the trust of the supporters.
Middlesbrough might just not be able to give the quick response against Aston Villa in their next match and they should be struggling to remain in the top flight until the end of the season.