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Middlesbrough boss confident Downing not unsettled

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is confident speculation over Stewart Downing's future hasn't unsettled the winger.

He said: "I talk to all of the players all the time, so there have been no different conversations.

"I have spoken to Stewart over the last fortnight or so because that has been rumbling on in the background for quite a while, so I think it's important I re-iterated to him my feelings on it. But no, I haven't felt the need to do anything else.

"These things, if you allow them to, can unsettle anybody - that's why it is important to deal in fact and not perception.

"A few weeks ago, we were talking about the run of form we were having and there was too much negativity in the club, I felt.

"We had to put the facts of where we were and what needed to be done on the table, and we have started to make steady progress.

"That, as a player, is all you can focus on, your performances on the field, and the rest of the club has to deal with the other situations."

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