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Boateng assured of Middlesbrough future

Middlesbrough captain George Boateng has been assured of his future after being axed for Saturday's defeat at Manchester United.

Boateng was not introduced until the closing minutes of the 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford, when Lee Cattermole was forced off with cramp.

But boss Gareth Southgate praised the way that the 32-year-old Dutchman reacted to being benched and stressed that he remains an integral part of his plans as Boro battle near the bottom of the table.

"I have to give George credit, he accepted the decision with excellent grace," said Southgate. "His response was very good and he was very helpful throughout the day on Saturday.

"He showed great maturity in taking the decision on board and he remains a very big part of this club.

"Catts has been playing very well and training hard and deserved his opportunity."

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