The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joshua Richards

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

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