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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

David Wheater backs Middlesbrough transfer moves

David Wheater
Wheater (right) featured in the FA Cup tie against Manchester City

Middlesbrough defender David Wheater has welcomed the prospect of new arrivals at the club during the January transfer window.

Gordon Strachan has the chance to add to the side he inherited in October and the 22-year-old believes imports will give everyone at the Riverside a lift.

"If there's a defender coming in I'll have to raise my game, likewise with the strikers," Wheater told BBC Tees.

"It'll be good for everyone if there are new players coming in."

Having enjoyed an impressive season in the first-team during 2007-08 which culminated in England squad recognition, Wheater has found the last season and a half a difficult time, particularly after the side were relegated from the Premier League last term.

And Wheater admitted although there have been mitigating circumstances, he needs to pick up his own performances regardless of his team-mates.

"Chris Riggott was my sixth partner at the centre of defence," Wheater said.

"That can't be good for anyone really, and that probably has affected my performances because you shouldn't be doing that as a centre-half because you want a settled partnership."

"But with injuries and suspensions that hasn't happened. I have to pick up my performances really and a lot of players do, we just have to get through it."

Wheater began his career with Middlesbrough as a schoolboy and progressed, via a loan-spell at Darlington, to his first-team debut against Sporting Lisbon in the Uefa Cup in March 2005.



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