Hines seeking to extend his stay at the Riverside
SEB Hines has invited talks over extending his Middlesbrough career by claiming he would like to stay on Teesside despite reputed interest from Premier League clubs. Despite making just one Championship appearance for Boro this season after overcoming serious injury problems, Everton, Wigan Athletic and Bolton have all been credited with an interest in Hines this week. There has been no contact made by would-be suitors to Middlesbrough over a possible transfer, although with the 22-year-old's contract up for renewal at the end of the season, his future is by no means certain. Hines, however, does not want to think too much about the speculation that has gone on nationally this week over his next move and prefers to focus on what happens at the Riverside Stadium. Having graduated through the ranks at the club's Academy over the past seven years, Hines hopes to prove he deserves a chance to shine under Tony Mowbray's management. Hines said: I don't know what I can say when things like that are reported. It is just nice to know that there are teams watching me again because I have had a hard time with injury. All I can do is play as well as I can, like I did against Cardiff earlier this month, and maybe there was increased interest just from that game. I'm in my last season contract- wise. I just want to get as many games in as I can and hopefully be rewarded with something new or whatever. Nothing has happened so far. I have grown up with Middlesbrough for the last seven years, I made my debut here, it is a good club. I would like to stay but you never know what will happen in football. In the ten appearances Hines has made for Boro since he made a goalscoring debut under Gareth Southgate in the FA Cup win over Hull City in January 2007, he has only endured one defeat. That good run continued on December 11 when he slotted in at the heart of the defence in the absence of David Wheater to help Mowbray's men beat Cardiff 1-0. But it is an indication of the length of time he has spent on the sidelines that he was left out the following game after Wheater's suspension had expired. Since turning professional Hines has broken his arm on three occasions, suffered a micro-fracture to his right knee, snapped his anterior cruciate ligament and, the latest he had to recover from, was an ankle ligament rupture. Having spent such a long time in the treatment room with Middlesbrough's new captain Matthew Bates, who suffered cruciate ligament woe on three separate occasions, Hines is hopeful the nightmare is behind him. I am just thankful to be fit again. I will hopefully progress from here, he said. Me and Batesy have spent more time in the gym than on the pitch with each other, so I know how he felt. But he has done well to overcome the bad injuries, like I have. With Wheater's future also unclear with Everton among a clutch of interested clubs ahead of the January transfer window in which he will be sold if the right offer comes along, Hines knows opportunities for himself could rise in the near future. Either way, he is satisfied it will not be too long before Boro climb away from the relegation zone. It's disappointing we find ourselves in the bottom half this season, said Hines ahead of Boxing Day's visit of Nottingham Forest. We would like to get ourselves out of the bottom three, clearly. But there's another half to the season so we should be looking at finishing much higher. We have definitely improved in recent weeks. Hopefully, we can just put the work on the training ground in to results. Hines was speaking at the Riverside Stadium, where several Middlesbrough players met deserving children at the Nestle Golden Ticket Party by Barnados, Butterwick Hospice, Zoe's Place and Boro supporters.
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