VICKERS BLAST AT BORO - BOLTON IN FOR DEAN

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MIDDLESBROUGH defender Steve Vickers has told manager Steve McClaren that he is not prepared to sit on the bench next season.

The 33-year-old`s eight-year career on Teesside looks to be coming to an end, after he acknowledged that the arrival of Gareth Southgate would make it hard for him to get into the first team.

Vickers quest for a first team place has also been impeded by McClaren`s decision to deploy a new look 4-4-2 system at Boro, which is in contrast to previous boss Bryan Robson who always used three central defenders.

"I just want to know where I stand and for things to be sorted out as quickly as possible," said Vickers.

"I can understand the fact that when a new manager comes in he will want his own men.

"He has brought in Gareth and is planning to play 4-4-2 which means there will be six players fighting for two places.

"Gareth and Ugo are probably going to be first choice and then there's Colin Cooper, Jason Gavin, Gianluca Festa and myself in reserve.

"I am from the area and want to help the club do well.

"But if I don't figure in the manager's plans then I would rather they tell me and let me find a new club now.

"It's frustrating when everything is up in the air like this and I don't want to be messed about.

"I still feel I can do a job in the Premiership, I feel fit enough and have had many years of experience in the top-flight and I want to play against the top players," he added.

Another defender who could be set to leave The Riverside is Dean Gordon.

The former England Under-21 defender, like Vickers, is out of contract at the end of the season and looks unlikely to be offered a new deal.

Gordon`s agent Phillip Graham has even confirmed that Bolton are interested in his client.

"There is an interest from Bolton," said Graham.

"They may decide to pursue that interest in the near future."

Millwall`s bid to sign Phil Stamp looks to be set for completion this week, as McClaren appears to be clearing the decks at Boro.

However, it seems that his efforts to sign players may bear fruit this week.

Rangers winger Allan Johnston should complete his £1 million move this week, and reports from the North East are suggesting that Bordeaux`s Francois Grenet could still arrive, although the player himself states that he does not know where he will be playing next season.

Manchester United duo Mark Wilson and Jonathon Greening continue to be linked and could yet start the season on Teesside.

Meanwhile, Slovakian international Szilard Nemeth has handed McClaren a boost with the news that he is fit enough to be included in the squad for Wednesday`s friendly with Preston.

Nemeth underwent surgery on a hernia last month and was expected to be out for at least another three weeks, but it now seems he may be fully fit for the opening day of the Premiership season.