Southgate brushes off criticism

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Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has stated personal criticism does not affect him, following an outburst by ex-striker Massimo Maccarone.

The Italian hit-man, who has now departed The Riverside, was reportedly promised by Southgate a run of first-team games prior to his managerial appointment.

However, the former Siena man failed to secure a regular spot and has now returned to his homeland on a free transfer after managing just one goal this season.

Southgate has taken little notice of Maccarone's outburst and is preferring to concentrate on positives within the club, including their crunch Arsenal clash this weekend.

"Believe it or not, I haven't read them. I am obviously aware that Massimo has released a statement," explained Southgate.

"When you are involved in football, there are always going to be opinions, but it is the past for us. Massimo has moved on now.

"I am not bothered about personal criticism. I will always defend all of my staff to the hilt because I have fantastic staff here, medical and fitness staff.

"But, everything else, that is part and parcel of football and we get on with it.

"There are so many positive things about what we are doing at the moment. I would prefer to speak about the players that are here, our players, and focus on what we are doing.

"We have got a big game against Arsenal tomorrow and everything else would be a side-show I would not want to allow to detract from what we are doing."