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By ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2007

Mido targets top six for struggling Boro

Middlesbrough's new £6million man Mido is preparing to shop for success on Teesside after buying into the belief that Boro are heading for a top six Premier League finish. In a week in which Sunderland boss Roy Keane complained that too few players were willing to move to the region for consumerist reasons, Mido joked today: 'I decided to come here because I like the shopping here.' In reality the 24-year-old Egyptian striker made Middlesbrough the eighth club of a nomadic career because he was convinced by boss Gareth Southgate that the club were capable of clinching a European place. Mido said: 'I believe we have the quality to finish in the top six. Sometimes players say things they do not really believe, but I really believe this club can finish in the top six. 'After I had spoken to the gaffer and what he told me about his plans and how ambitious he is with the team, it is easy to see how this club is ambitious and how it has got that sort of quality.' Mido said he had been 'frustrated' by the drawn-out transfer saga which also involved bids from Premier League rivals Birmingham and Sunderland. He will go straight into the squad for tomorrow's trip to Fulham. Mido's deal will almost certainly spell the end of the Ayegbeni Yakubu's Boro career, although Southgate insisted today that the Nigerian remained part of his plans for the Fulham game. 'Absolutely', said Southgate when asked if Yakubu would be in the travelling party. 'As far as we're concerned we need competition for places and he has been a big part of the club over the last couple of years.' Southgate has taken something of a risk bringing in Mido, who has a history of speaking his mind. Most famously, he sat out the 2006 African Nations Cup final in Cairo after rowing with coach Hassan Shehata. However Southgate insists Mido's outspoken character is precisely what his dressing room needs in order to recover from a sluggish Premier League start and make his new signing's ambitions come true. Southgate added: 'In my experience the best players are the ones that have an opinion and are prepared to fight and go in the dressing room and speak out. I have no issue with that and I think it is something we lack. 'If you haven't got players who will stand up and fight you have got a problem. It is no issue for me at all. In fact it is one of the reasons why I saw Mido and thought he would be perfect for this club.'