Southgate hails Tuncay

Boro boss praises unselfish character, who brings a 'different option' to his side

Tuncay: Unselfish character

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Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has sung the praises of Tuncay Sanli as the Teessiders prepare to welcome Manchester City to the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday.

The Turkey international returned in Boro's 1-1 draw against Blackburn on Saturday after recovering from a knee ligament injury, which had sidelined him since the middle of September.

He had a fantastic 'goal' disallowed at Ewood Park, a game in which strike partner Afonso Alves netted.

Southgate believes Tuncay is a tireless worker who brings a different option to his side.

World-class player

He said: "Number one, he is a world-class player, and he scored a world-class goal on Saturday that unfortunately didn't count.

"The style of his play gives us a different option, the position that he plays, and it gives the other team defensively a different problem to have a striker who doesn't just play up against them."

He added: "The whole team enjoy playing with him because he is an unselfish character and an unselfish player.

"He is a tireless worker for the team with and without the ball. He is always capable of scoring a goal, but the work he gets through for the team is phenomenal.

"He is a great character to work with."

City test

The last time City visited the Riverside they were thrashed 8-1 in the final game of the season, with Alves netting a hat-trick.

But Southgate knows his team face a tougher task to beat new manager Mark Hughes' side, who are three points ahead of them in the Premier League table.

He said: "Quite honestly, Manchester City were a shambles that day, not so much the players, but what was going off behind the scenes.

"They had an excellent manager [Sven-Goran Eriksson], but they have now got another excellent manager and an excellent management staff, and they have now become the richest club in the country, so a lot has changed there.

"But in spite of that, we are three points behind them and our aim is to beat them and to go level with them."