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Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 13:03 UK

Franks eyes Boro first-team place


Middlesbrough forward Jonathan Franks hopes to work his way into boss Gareth Southgate's first-team plans after impressing against at Macclesfield.

The 19-year-old came off the bench to score Boro's third goal in the 3-0 friendly win at Moss Rose on Saturday.

And Stockton-born Franks is now eager for more opportunities to prove himself ahead of the new Championship season.

"It is about getting a chance and being fit and ready to show what you can do. I've got to step it up now," he said.

"It's not a boys game, it's a man's game, but it's all about getting experience so I have to be patient."

With forwards Afonso Alves, Mido and Tuncay expected to leave the Riverside this summer, the club's younger players could well play a major role in the Championship.

Hopefully if the chance comes I can show what I can do and help get the team back in the Premier League

Jonathan Franks

After his impressive showing against Macclesfield, Franks knows he needs to replicate that performance if he is to cement a place in the first-team squad.

He said: "I've just got to put 100% in every game, it's the same with all the other lads - even the experienced players.

"They've still got a point to prove because there's young lads like me after their shirt.

"Hopefully if the chance comes I can show what I can do and help get the team back in the Premier League."

The England under-17 international made his first-team debut at West Ham on the final day of last season as the club were relegated from the top flight.

And Franks insists the players have to forget about that disappointment and focus on making an immediate return to the top flight.

"We thought our luck was going to change but it didn't come, and getting relegated on the final day wasn't good," he said.

"I think this season is a lot different - there's a good atmosphere in the dressing room and we've got to get a winning mentality and a good start to the season.

"We have to knuckle down and get ourselves back where we belong, and that's in the Premier League."

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