Gareth Southgate has paid a glowing tribute to his Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson for bankrolling the £12million club-record purchase of Brazilian hot-shot Afonso Alves.
Southgate believes Boro's audacious capture of the prolific Alves from Heerenveen and the fact that bids were also lodged for fellow Brazilians Fred, of Lyon, and CSKA Moscow's Wagner Love, will silence the critics.
He said: "I've heard criticism from some quarters aimed at the chairman for allegedly not backing the team, but this proves just how fortunate we are to have a chairman like Steve.
"No way would this deal have been done without his support. As a manager, I'm delighted to have a chairman like him behind me."