Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has pleaded for the boo-boys to lay-off record signing Afonso Alves.

"It wouldn't be fair to single Afonso out as a scapegoat," said Southgate reflecting on Sunday's FA Cup shock suffered against Cardiff City. "If anything he's the one who has been here the least time and should take least responsibility.

"People want me to hang my players out to dry but I'll take the flak."