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Southgate salutes Schwarzer (SN)

SoccerNews in English Premier League 23 May 2008

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Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has paid tribute to Mark Schwarzer after he signed for Fulham. The 35-year-old Australia international announced in his native country he is to join the Londoners after rejecting a new deal at the Riverside Stadium, and both clubs have now confirmed the move.

Southgate had hoped Schwarzer would extend his stay beyond the 11 years he has spent on Teesside, but ultimately had to admit defeat. However, unlike last summer, when he lost strikers Mark Viduka and Ayegbeni Yakubu and was left with a major hole in his squad, he is confident he has the men on hand to plug the gap.

Southgate said: “I felt it would have been good to have retained Mark’s experience because he was always a good example for younger players. With that in mind, we made him a fair offer, but he decided to take up a different offer and move on. I enjoyed playing alongside and managing Mark because he was always an outstanding professional. He was a very consistent keeper for us for more than 11 years, so he deserves great credit for that, though the club has looked after him too.”

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