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Most people agree that sacking a manager after a few weeks or a handful of matches is ridiculous, but sometimes chairmen go to the other extreme and exhibit reserves of patience that would be beyond most fans.
Given the frantic pace of the soccer industry, Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate can consider himself an extremely lucky man after a season that brought the club just seven league victories, 28 goals and relegation.
Boro chairman Steve Gibson said in a BBC Radio interview this week he was backing Southgate to get the club back in the Premier League next season, vowing not to make the former England international a scapegoat for the club’s relegation.
A lot of people will be wondering why not.
In January 2008, Southgate brought in record signing Brazilian striker Afonso Alves for 12.7 million quid from Heerenveen and let captain George Boateng and fellow midfielder Lee Cattermole go in the close season.