Middlesbrough set sights on incoming arrivals after Marcus Tavernier signs new deal

Marcus Tavernier.
Marcus Tavernier.
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MIDDLESBROUGH head coach Jonathan Woodgate has challenged England under-20 international Marcus Tavernier to continue his rapid improvement after he pledged his future to the club by signing a new three-and-half-year contract.

The 20-year-old Leeds-born winger, who has made 26 appearances this term, has been rewarded for his progress in an uplifting campaign and Woodgate has expressed his delight at his decision to commit to Boro.

Woodgate said: “I am over the moon Tav has signed a new contract. He was a player I was keen to get tied up as soon as we could because of what he brings to the team.

"He has had a good run of games this season and I think people can now see what he is about.

"What he has got to do now is keep working, and he has got to keep improving. I don’t want people standing still, I want them hungry to improve all the time."

Woodgate is hoping to make further inroads with a couple of signings before Friday night's transfer deadline, with Leicester centre-half Filip Benkovic being a top target.

Meanwhile, loan signing Patrick Roberts is out for six to eight weeks with a hamstring problem, while George Friend and Ryan Shotton will step up their comebacks in an under-23 game on Sunday.