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​Downing critical of Middlesbrough team mates following relegation

Stewart Downing has admitted some of his Middlesbrough team-mates may not have wanted to be at the club as they scrapped in vain to secure their Premier League status.

The 32-year-old told the club's official website, www.mfc.co.uk: "Where we'll be competing next season is a difficult league - maybe it's getting harder each season - and you have to fight and scrap for everything.

"But we have a good core here and I'm sure that when we start next season, we'll have everyone in that changing room who wants to be here.

"The manager has done ever so well with the stuff he's had to deal with. The fans don't see that, but there's been a lot and issues that needed addressing.

"This wasn't his team and probably not the way he wanted to play. Did some of some of them [players] want to be here? Probably not - these are the kind of things he has had to deal with.

"Whatever the chairman decides, we'll be right behind him. This isn't about anything other than this football club and our determination to get it back where we think it belongs."

He added: "I'm sure there will be changes next season - there has to be if we are to get promoted. We can't carry passengers.

"I'm confident we can pull this round. There is a core of players who are a good group and a lot who have seen this division before."


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Ian Ferris
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