Pogatetz keen to extend his stay at the Riverside

20 April 2010 09:27
Emanuel Pogatetz will discuss his future with Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan in the next fortnight and is hoping a deal can be agreed to keep him at the Riverside.

Pogatetz is one of three senior players who are free agents this summer, but while Strachan has already confirmed he will not be retaining Jeremie Aliadiere, he is yet to reveal his plans concerning the Austrian and his fellow defender, Chris Riggott.

With Boro missing out on a play-off place, it had been thought that Pogatetz would look elsewhere this summer in an attempt to secure European top-flight football.

But having spent five seasons on Teesside, the popular defender insists he would love to sign a new deal with his current employers.

I really like it here at Middlesbrough,

said Pogatetz.

I haven't signed for anyone else, even though I would have been allowed to since January and there have been expressions of interest from a few different places.

I wanted to wait and see how we progressed, and give the club a chance to say what they want to do. Obviously, I hoped we would win promotion, but now that has not happened, we will have to wait and see.

I am hoping to have some talks in the next couple of weeks, and if the club want to plan with me for the future, that would be very nice. Hopefully, that's how it will turn out. If not, I will have to think about moving on. But at this stage, I still hope I can remain at the Boro.

Pogatetz's desire to stay is in marked contrast to his mood in January, when he was considering a move to Panathinaikos.

The Greek side made an unsuccessful £1.5m bid for his services, and while Strachan was extremely reluctant to lose one of his squad's most experienced players, Pogatetz would willingly have moved to Athens.

Since then his attitude has changed, with Strachan's training methods and transfer business convincing him Boro are back on the right track.

Pogatetz has been impressed by his new manager's approach, but admits his future will be determined by the extent of Strachan's desire to keep him. As one of the highest- paid players on Boro's books, re-signing the Austrian could mean making cuts elsewhere.

I had an offer from Panathinaikos in January and, at that stage, things weren't really how I would have wanted them to be at the club, explained Pogatetz.

But since Gordon Strachan has had some time to take over and bring in some new players, everything has changed.

The atmosphere in the dressing room is completely different. I really like the new players, I like the style of the new manager, and it's a lot more enjoyable for me now.

Pogatetz will spend the summer completing his recovery from a knee injury that has hampered him throughout the current campaign.

I had to stop training and playing because of the knee problem, and I hope I can sort it all out over the summer, he said.

It's been a tough season. I had a good spell over Christmas where I played ten games in a row, but then I injured my hamstring and started feeling my knee again because I had a bang on it.

Since then, it's never really been 100 per cent right, but hopefully there's enough time now over the summer to get things sorted. I definitely don't need an operation, it's just I've never really had enough time and rest to build my leg back up properly

Emanuel Pogatetz was speaking at a Community Champions' event at the Stockton branch of Shaw Trust, a charity that helps people with disability or disadvantage to find work and achieve independence

Source: Northern_Echo

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