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Gareth Southgate faced the press in the wake of Middlesbrough's 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham United...

Failing with their last possible attempt to get a result to go in his favour, Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough side will now drop down into the Championship next season.

As ever, the likeable young manager didn't shy away from speaking to the media after the game, giving his thoughts on the day's action and the prospect of Championship football.

"It's painful," the 'Boro boss told Setanta Sports.

"We had a great start to the season and we have to look very seriously at why we've ended up as we are. It's a very sad day for us."

'Boro had suffered greatly over the past few weeks through injury, something that Southgate thinks was a part of why his team failed to stay in the top-flight.

"We never stopped. We ended up with seven academy kids on the pitch, due to the loss of eight senior players in the last few weeks," he revealed.

"I had to field a young team today and I was proud of what they gave. Not one of them left the stadium.

"We haven't been good enough, over the course of the 38 games. Tomorrow, we start to rebuild, but today is a sad day."

When pressed on his thoughts regarding an immediate bounce back into the Premier League, the gaffer was slightly deflective.

"It's a bit raw at the moment to be talking about that, but there's fight and spirit within the club," he continued.

"I'm determined to bring this club back to where it should be. We'll give everything we've got to do that.

"We need to make a lot of changes to the side, but that's a thought for tomorrow."

Southgate was also asked to comment on whether he felt that he was the right man for the job at Middlesbrough in the wake of this season's shortcomings.

"It's a painful day, regardless of whether you're a player or manager, no matter how you dress it up. Only time can heal the pain the club feels at the moment," he admitted.

"Middlesbrough have stayed in the Premier League for the last two years. We've fallen short this year as a club. I believe I have the qualities that will get Middlesbrough back into the top-flight and the spirit is evident in the club."

Stephen Crawford, Goal.com

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