Thomson ready for Boro charge

Scottish star back in contention for Middlesbrough

Kevin Thomson: Ready for Boro return

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Scottish star Kevin Thomson has declared himself ready to join Middlesbrough's promotion charge.

The former Rangers midfielder has been plagued with injury since moving south of the border last summer.

Thomson has suffered two leg fractures since his move, and has just returned from a hamstring problem and now he is hopeful that he can win a place in Tony Mowbray's starting XI.

"I'm looking forward to being involved as soon as the gaffer gives me the nod," said Thomson.

"I've had a couple of practice matches at Hurworth and I've been back in training for over three weeks now, but we've been quite cautious.

"I can only prove what I can do every day in training, everybody is fighting to get into the team and I'm no different.

"It's been frustrating since I came down here, to be honest. It's been a one-and-a-half year nightmare.

"I broke my leg almost as soon as I signed and then breaking down all the time last year and then finally getting the problem fixed in the summer was a relief.

"For any football player to miss pre-season it's hard to catch up, so I've been working ever so hard. I've been doing double sessions in the gym and I feel quite lean and I just need match fitness now."

Smallwood

Another midfielder hoping to force his way into Mowbray's thinking is youngster Richie Smallwood.

"I just need to keep working hard and hope my chance will come soon," said the 20-year-old.

"Once the time comes hopefully the gaffer won't have any problems putting me in.

"I have to keep myself fit, keep playing games and then I'll be match fit and raring to go."