Kitson is out to repay Strachan for his faith

18 November 2009 09:49
DAVE KITSON completed a loan move to Middlesbrough and immediately outlined an intention to live up to Gordon Strachan's expectations by delivering goals during his six weeks on Teesside.

Kitson trained with the Boro squad for the first time yesterday morning after being given permission to leave Stoke City where he has been out of favour.

The 29-year-old was quick to accept the proposal following a lack of opportunities at Stoke after a £5.5m from Reading in the summer of last year.

But Strachan's determination to hand him a chance to play first team football albeit for the short term convinced Kitson to make the move.

He arrives on a six-week loan at the Riverside Stadium despite leading the Potters' scoring charts this season with three goals.

And despite having had to endure the frustration of being out of action for long periods at Stoke, Middlesbrough boss Strachan feels he can help the forward recapture his best form.

I've been a fan of Dave's for a few years now. He is a good striker and another player for us to call on, said Strachan, who will hand him his debut against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

It is that glowing regard which has made Kitson keen to repay his new boss with the goals that will push Middlesbrough back into promotion contention even if he does not expect to stay beyond the initial loan.

The manager said we need goals, come in and do your best, do what you do, Kitson told BBC Tees.

He has been around a while, so have I, so he is aware of my game, he will have spoken to people about me. He's assured me I'm right for Middlesbrough and I will try to prove him right.

I have seen the players, the supply line and it's very decent and capable here, they are just lacking someone to be on the end of it and be in the right place. Hopefully it will go smoothly and I will be that guy.

Since taking over from Gareth Southgate a few weeks ago, Strachan has added Marcus Bent, Isaiah Osbourne and now Kitson to his playing staff.

While he remains on the look out for a new right midfielder, increasing his attacking options was always his main aim.

But the most recent recruit has hinted that he will not be around for long.

I will be here for six weeks and I will be gone, he said.

Hopefully Middlesbrough will kick on after that and I might not be here to see that.

At the moment it's six weeks and that's what I believe. I just want to get on and play football.

Kitson is the kind of footballer the Middlesbrough fans should warm to. As well as a scoring record in the Championship that will concern Boro's rivals, he also appears to have a refreshing approach to the game that supporters will like.

While refusing to own a flash car or wear the bling associated with modern day footballers, he has forged a reputation for himself as a goalscorer desperate to be a showman on the pitch rather than off it.

Before leaving his first professional club Cambridge during the 2003-04 season after spending time stacking shelves in Sainsbury's while playing non-league for Arlesey he scored 40 goals in 102 games; form which tempted Reading to pay an initial £150,000 for his services.

In his first full season in the Championship he scored 19 goals before hitting a further 18 in 27 starts as Reading won the title three years ago.

After successfully leading the Royals to the Premier League, he was quickly brought back down to earth in his first appearance in the top-flight ironically against Middlesbrough.

He was hospitalised by a challenge from Chris Riggott, after scoring in a 3-2 opening day win, and needed knee surgery.

He spent half a year on the sidelines before moving to Stoke a year later for £5.5m.

Kitson, who teams up again with old Reading teammate Leroy Lita at Boro, said: I was in a Reading team that breezed it. I don't remember playing too many games with Leroy, it was not as many as people think.

Every time we played we were pretty effective. Leroy plays off the big striker, he is an out and out goalscorer.

You have to supply him.

He is that kind of player.

Hopefully me being here will benefit him.

Source: Northern_Echo