Viduka wants to stay at Middlesbrough - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Viduka wants to stay at Middlesbrough

22/08/2006 11:36:08 PM Comments (0)

Socceroos captain Mark Viduka is keen to sign a new contract with English Premier League team Middlesbrough.

The striker's contract with Boro runs out in June 2007 but, with Australia's World Cup campaign out of the way, he is ready to negotiate a new deal.

Viduka is mindful, however, that former England and Middlesbrough defender Gareth Southgate has just stepped into the role of club manager following Steve McClaren's departure to take charge of the national team and may have more pressing concerns.

"We haven't talked about a new contract but I've had a lot on my plate over the last few months and obviously Gareth has only just got the new job so I don't really want to go up and say: `Let's talk.' But I'd like to stay," Viduka told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

"For a couple of years I had injuries and mentally I wasn't right but last year with the UEFA Cup and FA Cup runs, I rediscovered a bit of that fire and the belief in myself and I'm very grateful to the club for helping me find that again."

At the start of this year, there was speculation Viduka might leave the club.

Then Middlesbrough reached the UEFA Cup final, losing 4-0 to Sevilla, and the FA Cup semifinals, losing 1-0 to West Ham.

"Last year there were a lot of ups and downs and tension in the group because we wanted results," Viduka said.

"Gareth was a major part in things being turned around.

"Now we all wish him the best of luck and I really hope to do well for the club, especially for him."

Viduka was full of praise for Southgate's management style already.

"I've been involved with managers who didn't know much about football and who were not that ruthless, but everybody respected them and the team would die for them," he said.

"Then I've worked with managers who knew everything about football, and could tell you everything, and nobody could stand them so the team did badly.

"Everybody here respects Gareth. Hopefully he knows a lot about football because he played the game at the highest level for a long time.

"But he's already got half the job done because he has the man-management pert sussed."

Viduka, 30, has been given the No.9 shirt at Middlesbrough and started the club's opening Premier League match at the weekend.

He thought he had scored a dramatic equaliser, but was denied by a contentious linesman's flag as Boro lost 3-2 to newly promoted Reading.

His desire to stay at the club puts any possibility of him returning to Australia to play in the A-League off for at least a few years.

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