sport

Smallwood sees future at Boro

Richard Smallwood believes he is good enough to be a first-team regular at Middlesbrough and hopes he can impress Aitor Karanka after a successful loan spell at Rotherham.

The holding midfielder ended his time with the Millers in a blaze of glory as he tucked away the winning Sky Bet League 1 play-off penalty to seal the club's second promotion in as many years.

Despite Rotherham boss Steve Evans wanting to make the deal permanent, Smallwood's thoughts are solely on proving himself to his current manager.

The 23-year-old had been involved in the Boro squad since 2010 before his temporary move away, and after the club recently activated a clause to extend his contract until 2015 he hopes he can prove his worth.

He told the Gazette: "Boro is a massive club and has got some great players. I see myself in the team but it's not my decision.

"I'm sure we will strengthen the squad as the summer goes on so we should have a strong team next season.

"I think as a footballer, you've got to believe in yourself.

"I believe in my ability and I believe I should be in the Middlesbrough team."