Boro begin Crossley talks
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 32-year-old has played a significant role for Boro this season as understudy to number one Mark Schwarzer and many of the Riverside faithful feel the former Nottingham Forest man should be first choice.
Aussie shot-stopper Schwarzer returned at the beginning of February after being sidelined through injury, despite the fact Crossley had kept 10 clean sheets in 20 games.
Boro though are keen to keep Crossley - who is out of contract in the summer - and are looking to fend of interest from other interested clubs and tie him to a new deal.
"It was one of the hardest decisions I made dropping him," admitted boss Steve McClaren. "But we are in talks with Mark over a new deal now."
Crossley arrived at Boro in 2000 on a free transfer from Forest, but he has only this year made a significant push to try and take the number one jersey.
"I'm in talks with Middlesbrough and I would be quite happy to stay here," he told Boro's official website.
"I've built up a good relationship with the crowd now. I really appreciate the support they have given me." Crossley revealed he was upset at being dropped, and admitted: "The first thing was I was shocked when I was told, then after a couple of days it was anger.
"Then I was emotionally upset because I thought I had done enough to warrant staying in the team.
"Now I just feel you've got to accept it and get on with things and wait for your next chance.
"I've listened to the phone-ins and read the letter to the website and everything and the support I've had has been brilliant.
"When you've got the fans on your side like that it's difficult to move away from the club.
"It was the same at Forest, I had a great relationship with the crowd and I found it hard to walk away. I really appreciate all the support the fans have given me."
Boro are already set to let third-choice Marlon Beresford leave in the summer, which would then leave Aussie Brad Jones and England Under-17 international Sam Russell fighting it out behind both Crossley and Schwarzer.