Wheater shows steely resolve
David Wheater has pledged to show a steely resolve and stick with Middlesbrough - even if they do not get promoted.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 20/02/10 12:06pm
David Wheater has pledged to show a steely resolve and stick with Middlesbrough - even if they do not get promoted this season
Wheater is under contract for another 16 months, and was strongly linked with a move away from the club last summer.
The 23-year-old Teessider has seen fellow homegrown products like Stewart Downing and Adam Johnson leave for the Premier League in the last 12 months - but he does not intend to follow suit.
"Like everyone else, I want to get back in the Premier League with Boro," he said.
"There is nowhere else I would rather be than with this club in the Premier League.
"I want to be playing in the Premier League with my hometown club.
"I like the new manager, I like his training methods and he has been great with me. I see no reason why I would want to move on just yet.
"After this season, I have got another year on my contract.
"If we do not go up this season, I would like that to be the season that we do win promotion."
Wheater was also reflecting in the mothballing of Redcar's Corus steelplant which has seen 1,600 jobs lost on Teesside.
Boro as a club have led a campaign to try to help the plant stay alive, and Redcar-boy Wheater has been left upset by the news.
"It is a sad, sad day," said Wheater.
"It is going to be a struggle for this town to emerge from this, but we will have to. It is going to be hard, with so many people losing their jobs.
"As players, I do not really know what we can do. I am sure we will help somehow, but no one has approached us and I'm not sure what we could do.
"What we have to concentrate on is our game, our jobs, and try to make people happy by winning matches. If we do that, we can maybe help lift spirits a little bit."
Wheater admits the closure will have an affect on the football club itself.
"Crowds are bound to be affected because it is expensive to watch football these days and if you do not have a job, you are unlikely to pay £20 to watch 90 minutes of football when you can see it on TV," said Wheater.
"People won't buy shirts if they have lost their jobs because they are more expensive than watching football, it's understandable. Hopefully, a few good victories might boost everyone's morale a little.
"I don't actually know anyone who is working at Corus now, but over the years, both granddads and my uncles have worked there.
"Also a lot of people around the Redcar area and Boro have worked there.
"Boro fans too. It's really sad."
Boro boss Gordon Strachan insists he will not be using the plight of the steelworkers to try and motivate his players.
"It is sad, depressing, but I would not take a cheap shot by saying to the players 'these people are going through hell so we should turn that into a performance for them'," said Strachan.
"I would not use their agony to make my players perform better. I cannot imagine anything worse in life than not having a job.
"There cannot be anything worse. I know people in Edinburgh who have lost their jobs, I can see it in their faces, but I cannot really feel their pain."