Southgate receives chairman's support
© AFP

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has said sacking manager Gareth Southgate is not the answer in the club's battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Fans have started to question whether former Middlesbrough and England centre-back Southgate, who at 38 is the youngest manager in English football's top-flight, is the right man to help their side avoid the drop.

Boro are currently second-bottom in the table and four points adrift of safety, but Gibson told the club's official website on Tuesday: "I have spoken with a lot of fans over the last few weeks and they ask me about Gareth Southgate.

But if I was to sack Gareth Southgate at this stage, how would it help the situation?
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson.

"But the magic wand in our situation isn't sacking Gareth Southgate. Of course, everybody has their opinion in football and I understand the frustration of the fans.

"I have always said that we have a knowledgeable crowd at Middlesbrough and you have to respect that. I take on board the views of the fans because I care as much as they do. But if I was to sack Gareth Southgate at this stage, how would it help the situation?"