Southgate promises Viduka talks

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate insists he is set to open talks with Mark Viduka over a new contract after praising his performance in today's 2-0 win over Charlton.

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate insists he is set to open talks with Mark Viduka over a new contract after praising his performance in today's 2-0 win over Charlton.

Viduka claimed last week he was being forced to consider his options with Riverside Stadium officials yet to contact him over an extension to his existing deal which runs out this summer.

But Southgate has been left with no doubts over the value of his Australian asset after another workmanlike performance helped haul Boro away from the relegation zone.

Southgate said: "They will be talking to Mark about an extension to his contract. I want him to stay, he is a tremendous player for us and his performances are doing the talking for him.

"Mark put a great amount into the game and his hold-up play was terrific. He has given us everything - but that is the level we know he is capable of."

Southgate admitted there was plenty of early tension with Boro kicking off having dipped into the bottom three after West Ham picked up a point in the early kick-off.

He added: "It was an important win and we deserved it but we could have made it easier for ourselves in the last 20 minutes when Mark Schwarzer had to make a couple of smart saves.

"But it was important that we won. It is so tight in there and there are so many points to play for. It is now very important that we build on what we did today."

Charlton boss Les Reed praised his side's workrate but was left to rue two costly mistakes which left his side facing an increasingly desperate battle to avoid the drop.

Reed said: "Once again we have lost a game through basic errors that shouldn't happen but did happen. It gave us a mountain to climb and we had a little flurry at the end but it was too late."

But defiant Reed insists he is not ready to throw the towel in with a busy festive period to come in which the Addicks could conceivably claw themselves out of the bottom three.

Reed added: "We have just got to be determined and we will be straight back on the training ground tomorrow morning. We have got to put this one to bed then move on.

"There is time left and there are others under pressure as well so I am sure things will change around. I am aware each time I say that there is another game gone - but we just have to keep believing."

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox