Middlesbrough boss backs Gareth Southgate in England role

Aitor Karanka
Aitor Karanka

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has backed former Boro captain and manager Gareth Southgate in his new England role.

England Under-21 boss Southgate has been handed the reins for four games after the FA parted company with Sam Allardyce, just 67 days into his tenure as England boss.

Southgate's time in charge of the national team starts with the games against Malta and Slovenia early next week.

The former Boro boss made more than 200 appearances for Boro before taking over as the club’s manager in 2006.

And current head coach Karanka has given his backing.

"I’m really pleased for Gareth Southgate," said Karanka.

"He deserves the opportunity and I hope he can stay in the job and it is not just for one or two months. I have a very good relationship with him.

"It’s good for this club to see him there. The club is living the moment and he has managed here so it’s good."

"He is experienced," added Karanka.

"He knows the international set-up and he knows the players.

"He has managed in the Premier League. It will be difficult but he has all the experience he needs."