Middlesbrough hit back over former boss Southgate jibes

Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb has responded to former Boro manager Gareth Southgate over the signing of Afonso Alves.

Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb has responded to former Boro manager Gareth Southgate over the signing of Afonso Alves.

Southgate claimed he was against the £12million signing of Alves, who failed to make the grade after 18 months on Teesside and left the club after they were relegated from the Premier League.

Lamb said in the Daily Mirror: "Gareth has publicly confirmed his involvement in signing Alves on more than one previous occasion and that was absolutely accurate.

"I'm personally surprised and disappointed not only with the timing of Gareth's announcement but that he has chosen to make these comments at all.

"The truth is that in the 25 years I have been with the club no player has been signed without the full agreement of both the manager and the chairman.

"The manager has always had the final say on potential signings because it is his team and that was very much the case with Alves.

"Ultimately, it didn't work out for Alves at Middlesbrough and we had to move him on due to the financial implications of relegation from the Premier League, but we all felt at the time that the player had an excellent pedigree and would score goals in the Premier League."