Southgate - Jones not to blame
Boro boss Gareth Southgate refused to blame goalkeeper Brad Jones for his side's defeat at Everton.
Last Updated: 08/03/09 8:37pm
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate refused to blame goalkeeper Brad Jones for his side's FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Everton on Sunday.
The Teessiders deservedly took a lead into the half-time break as David Wheater's header silenced the Goodison Park faithful.
After the interval though it all went wrong for Jones, who was badly at fault for Marouane Fellaini's leveller and will feel he should have done better for Louis Saha's winner.
However, Southgate was not playing the blame game post-match: "We win or lose as a team.
"I do not understand why people always want to find someone to blame. For every goal that is conceded, there are three or four mistakes in the lead up to it.
"As far as I am concerned, Brad Jones has been excellent for us, whatever might have happened on the goals, that is football.
"Did we do enough as a team to win the game? Probably not, that is what we must look at.
"It is a shame for the fans. Going to Wembley would have been something to look forward to, but now we have a quarter of the season to go to get ourselves out of the relegation zone.
"We have been excellent in the cup, now we have to stick together and get through this. There have been some tough evenings to endure after matches, now we have to get over this and keep fighting in the league."
Southgate admitted his side, battling relegation in the Premier League, could not handle Everton's comeback.
He said: "Of course it is a huge disappointment to lose a cup semi-final, and we were in a position of being 45 minutes from Wembley.
"Everybody's emotions are pretty raw, but the way we gave the lead away underlines why we are where we are this season.
"We had commitment and endeavour, but we have to learn how to win matches and see matches through to the end.
"We had a six-minute period where we didn't deal with the high balls into the box, which we had done brilliantly before that. There were harsh lessons to learn."