Southgate's warning to duo
Gareth Southgate has warned Ross Turnbull and Brad Jones they are playing for their futures.
Last Updated: 25/09/08 2:02pm
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has warned Ross Turnbull and Brad Jones they are playing for their futures at the club as well as the No.1 jersey.
The two goalkeepers, both products of Boro's famed academy at Rockliffe Park, are out of contract at the end of the season.
With Mark Schwarzer departing the club in the summer, Southgate challenged the two to compete for the starting spot.
"Both of the goalkeepers are in that situation [being out of contract]," said Southgate.
"They've got a great fight to take the No.1 spot and a great fight to earn themselves a new contract.
"I would think from Ross' point of view, the better he plays, the better the contract.
"Agents tell you that they negotiate the best deals but the reality is that players do it by their performances.
"The contract situation is something that we're conscious of, it's something we'll look at.
"But I would think the relationship we've got with Ross and the opportunity that we're giving him is something he might not get anywhere else.
"He and we are very comfortable with the situation but you never know what's ultimately going to happen because people get into people's ears. His contract, I don't feel, is a big issue, it hasn't been to him.
"We will be sitting down very soon with the pair of them sorting out their futures."
Turnbull looked to have leapt to the front of the queue after Jones dislocated a finger early in the season and he was one of Boro's better players in their derby defeat at Sunderland.
But the Aussie was given his chance against Manchester United in the Carling Cup on Tuesday and performed very well.