Southgate waits on Viduka

14 May 2007 08:01
Gareth Southgate expects Mark Viduka to make a decision to extend his stay at Middlesbrough by signing a new contract within the next two weeks. Viduka ended the season in style with two goals in the 3-1 home win over Fulham, with Southgate crossing his fingers that the Australian opts to stay put. He said: "Mark is going to think about things over the next few days. I suspect we will know in the next ten days or so. I do not mind how long it takes if it is the right answer from our point of view. "Once a player goes into the last year of his contract, then he has the right to think about things. The longer it was left, he is then prepared to exercise that right. "With it being my first year, I suppose I wanted to assess the squad in the early part of the season and I did not want to make a decision last summer on what I was going to do with players this summer. "Perhaps that delay has slightly put us on the back foot a bit, but I needed to make sure I was making the right decisions on people. "But he knew we wanted him to stay, we made that clear in January when we had the opportunity to sell him if we had wanted to. "Whatever happens with him, he has been brilliant for me as a manager. In my first season, he has been a real leader in the dressing room and on the field."

Source: ESA