Duo pen Boro deals
Middlesbrough have handed new deals to academy graduates Seb Hines and Richard Smallwood.
By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @graemebailey
Last Updated: 28/01/11 1:45pm
Two more of Middlesbrough's academy graduates have committed their futures to the club with Seb Hines and Richard Smallwood putting pen to paper.
Defender Hines, who has been given his chance in the first team following David Wheater's sale, has been handed a two-and-half-year deal - a story first revealed by skysports.com.
Midfielder Smallwood has followed suit by signing an 18-month contract.
On Hines, Boro boss Tony Mowbray said: "For me this is the chance for Seb to grab his opportunity in the first team.
"There is a vacancy in central defence through the sale of David Wheater and we also have Stephen McManus on the injury list at the moment.
"Seb has suffered some bad injuries over the last few years. This is his chance to come in and show us what he is about."
On Smallwood, he added: "We like Richie's work ethic and the uncomplicated way he plays football.
"He has had a taste of first team football before my arrival, so now he needs to keep working hard and grab his chance with both hands when it comes along."
Kink and Taylor stay
Meanwhile, Mowbray confirmed that he has no plans to sell Tarmo Kink in the transfer window - after the Estonian winger was linked with a move away.
Despite fielding enquires Mowbray says he wants him to stay.
"I've had a few enquiries about Tarmo but he won't be leaving," he said.
"He has a very obvious talent but he has to learn and understand the mentality that's needed to be a success in the Championship.
"To be fair, he wants to prove he can be a success here and I'm happy to give him that opportunity."
Boro, who look like being without youngster Luke Williams for the rest of the season due to injury, are also set to keep Andrew Taylor.
Watford had been keen on landing the full-back following a loan spell, but Mowbray is happy for him to stay and battle for a place, potentially in midfield, which may lead to him signing a new deal - with his current contract due to expire in the summer.
"My job is to try and persuade Andrew that his future is with Middlesbrough," said Mowbray.
"He has great ball retention and a football brain.
"I think he can be a high-class midfielder, which means he's got some thinking to do because I know he has previously seen himself only as a left-back because that is where he has played most of his football.
"Ultimately, whether he stays or goes at this point is my decision because he is our footballer.
"The boy is trying to make a footballing decision and I'm trying to convince him that he can make a top-class midfield player, where possibly he can take his career to a new level."