Downing: ‘I never wanted to leave Middlesbrough’

Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing signed a new five-year contract with his hometown club on Friday after a month of wrangling and disputes. But if you listen to the 23-year old England international, you would be made to believe that the club and the player were never at hammer and tongs with each other.

Downing says:

This is where I want to be.

It’s my hometown club, but I’ve told them that I didn’t want us to stand still. Signing Afonso Alves shows how ambitious we are, the fact that the chairman was willing to splash out like that.

The chairman has proved again just how much he wants this club to go forward. To be fair, the chairman and the manager have been spot on about it.

They’ve never pressurised me, they’ve just made it clear that they wanted me to stay. My thoughts were that I wanted to stay as long as we’re ambitious.

Ultimately, it’s not just about playing for my hometown club, although that’s important, but I want to win something and to do that with Boro would be the best way.

There’s been talk about other clubs but I never wanted out. This is what I’ve wanted all along. I know it’s gone on for some time, but I’m delighted we’ve finally reached an agreement.

I’m glad it’s all done and I can concentrate on my football because that’s what I want to do.

Come on Stewart, everyone knows about how you handed in a transfer request through your agent and how you kept on whinging of having to stay at a modest club. Now of course that Downing has been unable to claw himself out of the Riverside, he is trying to salvage some lost faith and trying to endear himself to the fans once again.

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