AFTER failing to impress in his first three games, Jason Euell has been backed to become a success at Middlesbrough by manager Gareth Southgate.

Euell missed two glorious opportunities against Blackburn at the weekend and the 1-0 defeat highlighted his profligacy in front of goal.

Having played as an attacking midfielder behind lone striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu in his first three starts for Boro, he has been handed the responsibility to provide support and goals.

But he has failed to find the net and there is every chance Southgate will be changing the system he has been using in recent weeks at Sheffield United on Saturday.

Wherever Euell plays, the boss who paid Charlton £300,000 for his services feels the former England Under-21 international has the ability to transform Middlesbrough into an attacking force this season.

Firstly, though, Southgate insists for that to happen the player and his new team-mates have to familiarise themselves with everyone's style of play.

"Jason is going to get better when we start to learn his strengths," said Southgate. "He gives us a runner in midfield. He will get forward and get goals and there is no question about that. He gives us something we haven't had for a while.

"He gives us that forward midfielder we haven't had in the club and the style he plays is something that is good to have in the squad. He'll attack crosses, he'll get into the box and he can win you a game."

Euell is one of the most experienced players in the squad and Southgate is calling for him to relay that to the club's many emerging youngsters.

In his first few seasons at Charlton, after moving for £4.75m from Wimbledon in 2001, he was an integral part in establishing the club in the Premier League.

However, during the last couple of years, he had gone stale at The Valley and managed only 11 appearances last season with three goals.

Such a difficult period would inevitably affect confidence but Southgate is convinced the move to Teesside will revive his career.

"I'm really pleased with Jason. He feels he has missed out on a couple of years in the prime of his career and this is his time to show what he can do," said Southgate.

"I needed men in the side because we had too many young players who were being asked to play too often. We need players to stand up for the battle. His background with Wimbledon and Chartlon stands him in good stead for that.

"It is great to have youngsters going in here and there but you need players who can lead them and talk them through games as well. He's done that and I've been really impressed with the job he has done for us."

Southgate, desperate to see his side's fortunes turnaround after winning just one of his first seven matches in charge, will hand Robert Huth another chance to regain full fitness tomorrow tonight.

Huth, a £6m buy from Chelsea, has not played a Premiership game for his new club as he continues rehabilitation from the ankle problem sustained in the World Cup.

His debut ended in disaster six days ago when Boro were embarrassed by Notts County in the Carling Cup.

And he will be given a run out for the reserves against Manchester United's second string at the Riverside tomorrow (kick-off 7pm). Admission to non season ticket holders is £2. Only the East Stand will be open.