Wheater hopes for Downing stay
David Wheater hopes Stewart Downing will change his mind and stay at Middlesbrough.
Last Updated: 19/01/09 10:08am
David Wheater hopes that Stewart Downing's promotion to the role of Middlesbrough captain will persuade the winger to stay at The Riverside.
Downing requested a transfer at the beginning of January and Tottenham failed in two bids as Boro maintained their stance that they do not want the England international to leave.
Manager Gareth Southgate demonstrated his desire to keep Downing by handing the Teessider the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Emanuel Pogatetz for Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Premier League relegation rivals West Brom.
And Wheater is optimistic that Southgate's decision may convince Downing to stay with struggling Boro, although he is not totally sure where his team-mate's heart lies.
"He wants to win because he loves the club... er, well I don't know if he does but he is from the area and wants the team to do well," said Wheater.
"It (Downing's appointment) was not that much of a surprise - all the lads respect him.
"Hopefully it will make him change his mind, we want him to stay."