Premier League

Arca - We're all backing boss

Midfielder says dressing room fully behind under-fire manager

Arca: Backing Southgate

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Middlesbrough midfielder Julio Arca has added his voice to the show of support for under-fire boss Gareth Southgate.

There have been growing calls for Southgate's departure following a dreadful run of form which has seen Boro drop to second-from-bottom of the league with just one win in 18 games.

But Boro chairman Steve Gibson - known for his loyalty to his managers - has given his public backing to Southgate.

And Arca says the dressing room is fully behind Southgate as they seek to bridge the four-point gap to Premier League safety with just eight games left.

Behind him

The 28-year-old told the Evening Gazette: "We are behind him all the way.

"We have to stick together now all the way because we need to be positive and to get points.

"It's good that the chairman keeps backing him and is giving him the chance to turn things around."

He added: "It's probably the best thing that could happen for us because we need to be able to concentrate on the games and to get as many points as we can.

Worst thing

"The worst thing to happen would be to bring in a new manager because a new manager would come in and they have to get to know the players and don't get much time to turn things around.

"I'm glad the chairman keeps backing the manager and giving him the opportunity to turn things around and hopefully we can do that."

Arca is thinking positively ahead of Boro's make-or-break run-in, with their next three matches seeing Southgate's side travel to Bolton on Saturday before coming up against Hull and Fulham at the Riverside Stadium.

He added: "As a player you have to think positively. Mathematically the chance is still there so it's up to us to put in good performances and hopefully keep Middlesbrough in the Premier League.

"Hopefully in the next eight games we all can change things around."