Smith eyes permanent deal

Keeper keen on Boro switch

Smith: Loan move

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Paul Smith has admitted he is hoping his move to Middlesbrough may become permanent.

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Boro snapped up Smith in a loan deal from Nottingham Forest which saw Kris Boyd move in the opposite direction.

Tony Mowbray moved for Smith after Jason Steele picked up an injury, and with Danny Coyne already sidelined they were left with only 18-year-old rookie Connor Ripley.

Now, after making his debut in their 2-1 win over Derby on Tuesday, Smith is hoping he could yet secure a permanent switch to Teesside.

"If this goes well, of course it's something I'd like to see continue in the future," said Smith.

"I want to play football, and I obviously haven't been able to do that at Forest.

"It's only early days, but I think I have enough experience to be able to come in here and do a decent job for Middlesbrough.

"If that works out, then who knows what might follow?

"I don't want to be spending the rest of my career sitting on the bench watching the rest of the lads play - I want to be somewhere where I can be playing, influencing games and doing a valuable job for the team.

"I've spoken to both the other keepers and they seem really good, genuine lads. It will be good to work with them when they come back, and we'll have to see how things go from there."

Bates trip

Meanwhile, Boro have confirmed that captain Matthew Bates has flown to America to see the man who helped him battle back from his last cruciate problem.

Bates, who currently has a hamstring problem, feels that Bill Knowles, based in Vermont, will aid his overall recovery.

"It's an opportunity to have a general MOT. Bill is a good source of advice on how to keep my knee strong and also help me recover from the hamstring injury," said the 24-year-old.

"He has been a big influence on my return to fitness in the past and he can help me again. I expect to be with him for a couple of weeks and my hope is that I can get back in action next month. There are still plenty of games for me to get involved in."

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