Southgate: 'Ferguson was right to criticise my appointment as Boro boss' (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Southgate: 'Ferguson was right to criticise my appointment as Boro boss'
GARETH SOUTHGATE admits Sir Alex Ferguson was right to have challenged his controversial appointment as Middlesbrough manager back in 2006.
Steve Gibson named Southgate as Steve McClaren's successor even though the former centre-half did not possess the coaching badges that were supposedly a Premier League requirement.
Southgate, who had never previously coached anyone on a professional basis, was given a lengthy grace period in which to gain his qualifications, with Ferguson joining the League Managers' Association to criticise the fast-tracking of a complete novice.
With the benefit of hindsight, Southgate accepts his promotion to a managerial role in the top-flight came too soon, and while he defended himself vigorously against Ferguson's comments at the time, he now concedes the former Manchester United manager was right.
“When I got the job, Sir Alex said what he did, and he reiterated it at the League Managers' Association dinner this year,” said Southgate, who made a winning start to his new role as England under-21s boss as his side beat Moldova on Thursday evening. “He was absolutely right.
“The ideal scenario is that you start with kids. Kids will listen more and won't be quite as critical of your sessions because they're delighted to have an enthusiastic coach. You can learn with a little less pressure and try things in training sessions.
“There's not a perfect pathway, but in an ideal world, you wouldn't be a first-team manager first time out.”
Boro midfielder Albert Adomah was an unused substitute as Ghana beat Zambia 2-1 at the weekend to secure their place in Africa's World Cup qualifying play-offs, with new signing Kei Kamara coming off the substitutes' bench as Sierra Leone beat Equatorial Guinea 3-2.
Jozsef Varga was part of the Hungary side that suffered a 3-0 defeat to regional rivals Romania on Friday evening, and is expected to be involved in tomorrow night's home game with Estonia.