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Halliday stays with Boro despite Rangers interest
ANDY HALLIDAY has told how an ambition to help Middlesbrough back to the Premier League convinced him to resist a temptation to move to the club he has supported all of his life this summer.
When Halliday penned a new two-and-a-half year contract at the Riverside Stadium a week ago he had been made aware that a return to his native Glasgow was a possibility.
Rangers, 20 points clear at the top of the Scottish Third Division, are attempting to climb back up the ladder north of the border after being hit with severe penalties because of financial problems.
But Halliday, enjoying his best season at Middlesbrough since leaving Livingston in the summer of 2010, has his eyes on the English Premier League rather than the Scottish equivalent – and thinks he is already at the club where he can achieve his goals.
The 21-year-old said: “There was rumours flying around and negotiations can take a bit of time in football, but I am just thankful it is all over now and I can concentrate on my football.”
He added: “I don’t hide the fact that I am a massive Rangers fan. My family are all Rangers fans and my first flat was right next to Ibrox.
“There was a bit of interest from Rangers I think, but I am really enjoying myself at Middlesbrough and, what can I say, it’s an excellent place to play my football. It’s a big chance to get to where everyone wants to go in their careers: the Premier League.”
Halliday could have left in the summer on the cheap at the end of his contract, but he had always been hopeful of reaching an agreement to stay with Middlesbrough.
Back in August he had genuine fears his time on Teesside was heading for an end, having made just one appearance under Tony Mowbray last season.
But Mowbray’s decision to turn him from goal-hungry winger to attack-minded defender has led to him becoming an option at left-back along with George Friend. He has also played at centreback.
Having figured in 18 matches this season, Halliday said: “It looked like I might have to move on but then I started to play football and I could start to look at my career here again.
“That sums up football, that’s the way it is sometimes.
At one stage I hadn’t played a minute and then within two weeks I had played three games.
“Then came along my twoand- a-half year deal and I signed it. It’s been good news for me on that front. It can be up and down in football and that’s what it has been like this season.”
The one big disappointment Halliday has endured this season has been Boro’s failure to stay in the hunt for an automatic promotion place.
With eight matches remaining, Mowbray’s men head to Wolves a week on Saturday five points outside the play-offs, with the young Scot still believing the campaign can finish in style.
“It will be frustrating if we don’t end the season on a high after the start we had,” said Halliday. “At the start of the season we started so strongly, it’s just so frustrating that the blip has come when it has.
“After all it is about how the season ends rather than starts. Now it is about how other teams play, other teams’ results. Don’t get me wrong it is still there to be grabbed.
With eight games to go I reckon six wins will get us in there. There are eight cup finals and the start is Wolves away next week.”
- Andy Halliday met Boro fans yesterday at Jacamo menswear’s Teesside Park store.
Jacamo stocks a selection of highstreet brands alongside own-brand favourites Flintoff by Jacamo – designed exclusively for Jacamo by Freddie Flintoff – Label J and Jacamo.
All the clothes in Jacamo’s collection are available in sizes from M to 5XL.
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