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Bates keen on Boro midfield role

Matthew Bates
Bates made his Boro debut in December 2004

Middlesbrough utility man Matthew Bates has expressed his desire to remain playing in central midfield after a successful spell in the position.

Bates, 22, was pressed into the role in December's 1-1 draw with Arsenal and has enjoyed the change so much he is reluctant to return to defensive duty.

"I've enjoyed it, it's somewhere I enjoy playing," he told BBC Tees.

"The role is similar to centre-half as you can influence the game and dictate, you're more involved."

Stockton-born Bates made his debut for the Teessiders in a 3-2 win against Manchester City in December 2004.

However a string of injuries have hampered his first-team opportunities, limiting him to just 39 appearances for the club.

Meanwhile, Bates' team-mate Seb Hines has signed a new contract with the club until the end of June 2011.

Hines, 20, had been on loan with Championship side Derby County earlier this season.

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see also
Boro players feel pressure - Huth
10 Feb 09 |  Middlesbrough
Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Bates delighted with Boro return
30 Dec 08 |  Middlesbrough


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