BANG-BANG BAMFORD ON TARGET
MIDDLESBROUGH boss Aitor Karanka could make his two most important ‘signings’ of the season in the next few weeks, in the youth of Patrick Bamford and experience of Jonathan Woodgate.
In-form striker Bamford revealed his current scoring streak followed a summit meeting with Karanka and insists he now wants to stay at Boro for the rest of the season.
The on-loan Chelsea forward – whose deal is due to lapse in January – had scored five goals in the last six games before this weekend’s clash with Derby after being given an extended run in the first team. “I had a meeting with the gaffer a few weeks ago and just said that I need to be playing more,” Bamford said.
“I was in and out of the team, so said ‘I want to play, that’s why I have come here’. I can only show what I can do if I am playing, and he’s put his belief in me.
“I’ve played the games and proved him right, or proved myself right; that I can do it when I get a run of games together.
“I’m enjoying life here and to stay would make me happy, so they are on the case now pushing it towards Chelsea.
“It’s also come out that Jose Mourinho is really happy with me being here as well.
“So I think it’s just finalising the details now, which shouldn’t be hard.”
Former England defender and club captain Jonathan Woodgate returned to full training last week after yet another hamstring injury, and Karanka admits his return is massive for the team.
He said: “This week Woody has been training with us. It is good because he’s a very important player, and in December could be our big signing.”
Meanwhile, Belgian forward Jelle Vossen insists he was never worried about his goal drought.
Vossen had gone 12 games after his arrival on-loan from Genk without a goal before scoring a hat-trick in last weekend’s 5-1 win against Millwall.
“I always knew the goals would come,” said Vossen. “I never worried or hesitated, just kept working.
“The longer it went on the bigger issue it became, not so much for me but for the fans and the world outside.
“I was always working 100 per cent to get the in the team, and it was up to me to take the chances.
“I could have seven or eight goals if I’d had some luck, and hopefully this can free me.”
EYE ON PRIZE: Patrick Bamford Inset: Jonathan Woodgate