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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 16:52 UK

Middlesbrough plan Chris Riggott talks

Chris Riggott
Riggott has managed 90 minutes just four times this season

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan plans to hold talks with defender Chris Riggott, who is out of contract at the Riverside in the summer.

Riggott, 29, has been at Boro for seven years but has only featured seven times this season because of injury.

"We're looking to talk to him," Strachan told BBC Tees.

"I like him as a man and as a professional, but a bit worried about the amount of games he's played. He's a good influence around the place."

Riggott's arrival at the Riverside came in January 2003, as part of a double signing from Derby with striker Malcolm Christie.

Since that time the defender has been involved in League Cup triumphs, a European final and top flight football at the Riverside; and he revealed coming to terms with a possible departure this summer would be tough to take.

"It's been a fantastic time, the last three years haven't worked out but it's been seven and a half years now," he said.

"The last three have been a nightmare, but the first few years were fantastic, and it was upsetting walking off the pitch at the end [of the 1-1 draw with Coventry] thinking it might be my last game.

"Hand on heart, you don't know if you need a change, but other than that it looks like things could pick up here next season and it could be an exciting season.

"If you'd asked me six months ago I'd have said 'I'm desperate for a change and I need to get fit'.

"Ask me now, I really don't know, because if someone said to me now, 'you'll have a fantastic season and you're going to be fit', I'd jump at it.

"I would understand if the club think, not good riddance, but 'thanks but you've not played many games' - I would accept that."

Riggott's biggest issue this season has been returning to fitness from his initial ankle injury, and in turn remaining fit once the operation had taken place.

However 90 minutes in the reserves, and then a first full game in the first team since January against Coventry has reawakened the defender's hopes of a late flourish to the season.

"I've had a torrid year, I managed to get back from my ankle having been out a long time and then after playing a few games in January, I pulled my hamstring," Riggott added.

"It wasn't ideal. It's reasonably common that if you come back from a long time then you get niggles, but it's no good for me as I needed a long run then.

"I did everything I could to be fit and have done over the last few months but it's just not happened for me.

"Hopefully now I can stay fit for at least a week and play again next week."

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see also
Virus shutdown hits Middlesbrough
24 Mar 10 |  Middlesbrough
Wheater backs Boro transfer moves
07 Jan 10 |  Middlesbrough
Players still believe - Riggott
08 Apr 09 |  Middlesbrough
Boro grab Derby pair
13 Feb 03 |  Middlesbrough

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