CONFIDENT Malcolm Christie has told Middlesbrough's supporters 'there's a lot more to come'.

The former England Under-21 striker became an instant hit on Teesside when he arrived in January.

Christie scored three goals in his first five starts for Boro and made himself the only automatic choice in manager Steve McClaren's front-line.

And the former Derby County forward is hoping to move up another gear when the 2003-04 campaign starts in August.

"I'm enjoying it here at Middlesbrough," said Christie, who joined in a £3m double deal with defender Chris Riggott.

"It is a big change from Derby, especially the training facilities. They were not as impressive as the ones at Middlesbrough at all.

"I have settled in and I just want to keep scoring goals.

"It's difficult to judge the gap between the Nationwide and the Premiership because it's just a different style of football.

"The Premiership is a lot different and you really need pace to survive. I've got that and I have done it already in the Premiership. I don't see why I shouldn't do it again.

"When I was at Derby, I pretty much knew that I was going to play every week. At Middlesbrough there is so much competition for places and hopefully that is what will raise my game."

Boro defender Phil Gulliver last night admitted he has grabbed his chance to impress at Third Division promotion chasers Bournemouth.

Gulliver, who joined the Cherries on loan until the end of the season in March, initially struggled to break into the first team at the Fitness First Stadium.

However, after Bournemouth clinched a play-off place, the Barnard Castle youngster extended his short term spell and has helped the side reach the play-off final.

And Gulliver, who is expecting to start alongside centre-back Carl Fletcher at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday against Lincoln, revealed he is loving being involved in the promotion push.

He said: "It's very important for me to stay at Bournemouth until the end of the season.

"The chance was open for me to come back down and I jumped at it because I want to help them finish the job off and achieve promotion.

"The experience here has been brilliant and it's great to play league football."

Former Boro star Paul Okon could be about to turn his back on English football.

The Australian defensive midfielder became surplus to requirements under the McClaren regime and signed for Watford after being released.

Okon's move to Vicarage Road turned sour when Gianluca Vialli was replaced as manager, and he signed for Terry Venables at Leeds last summer. But since Peter Reid took over at Elland Road, Okon's future has been in doubt.

Italian side Ancona are understood to be keen on the player and his agent, Leo Karis, has confirmed he could be on his way.

"If the indications are that he will not figure prominently under Peter Reid he may look at his options," said Karis. "Paul is keen to play regular football."

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