Southgate tells Aliadiere to be more selfish
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has urged match-winner Jeremie Aliadiere to adopt a selfish streak as he bids to finally get the best out of the French striker at the Riverside Stadium.
Aliadiere scored his first Premier League goal of the season in the 89th minute at Wigan yesterday to defy his critics and hand Boro their first away league win of the year.
But Southgate admits he expects more from the 25-year-old former Arsenal star and believes Aliadiere's upbringing under Arsene Wenger could now be counting against him.
Southgate said after the 1-0 victory: ''I think he's got everything really but it's just a case that he's a very unselfish player sometimes. I don't know if it's the Arsenal upbringing but he looks to set people up even when he's in a good position himself.
''Sometimes a lot of my players don't have enough belief in what they're capable of. But Jeremie had plenty of support and get off the mark and get the winner is special. Jeremie is always a threat.''
Aliadiere had barely touched the ball up to the dramatic moment when Stewart Downing nodded down a cross from substitute Didier Digard in the box and gave the Frenchman the simplest of chances.
Wigan had dominated the game with Boro keeper Ross Turnbull denying Amr Zaki, Wilson Palacios and Jason Koumas, while Southgate's patched-up five-man defence was superb.
Watching England boss Fabio Capello could not have helped but be impressed by the performance of David Wheater while alongside him Chris Riggott and Jon Grounds - recalled from a loan spell at Norwich - were rock-solid.
Southgate added: ''We were excellent across the back five today. It's the type of game where centre-halves get the opportunity to stand out and they certainly did that today.
''Our mentality going into the game was different and you could sense a determination about them. The irony is we've played much better football in our last two games and taken nothing.''
Coming into the game on the back of a fine win over Manchester City last week, the Latics had oozed confidence with Emile Heskey and Zaki, the league's leading scorer, fashioning early chances.
Boro almost snatched a first half lead out of nowhere when Wheater headed Mido's in-swinging cross just over the bar, but for the most part it was one-way traffic.
Turnbull did well to tip a Zaki drive around the post, Palacios shot straight at the keeper, and substitute Jason Koumas had him at full-stretch to stop an impressive solo effort.
Capello will have learnt little more than he already knew about the workmanlike Heskey, while potential keeper Chris Kirkland's only task all afternoon was to pick Aliadiere's strike out of the net.
Afterwards Wigan boss Steve Bruce revealed Kirkland is unlikely to be picked for the imminent international squads as he continues to tread carefully after his recent back problem.
Bruce said: ''We have an agreement with England that until Chris feels 100 per cent he'll stay with us rather than travelling around half of Europe.
''It's a difficult one for Chris because he's an outstanding goalkeeper but I'm sure his chance will come. The more weeks that go by, he continues to get closer to that.''