SENY DIENG expects to be busier with his feet than with his hands when he lines up for Middlesbrough in the new Championship season.

Having moved to Teesside from QPR earlier this month, Dieng will start the new campaign as Boro’s new number-one goalkeeper.

The 28-year-old proved his shot-stopping credentials at Loftus Road last season, but also caught Michael Carrick’s eye because of his comfort in possession and ability to play out from the back, even when being pressurised by opposition attackers.

Dieng repeatedly received the ball in his own penalty area during Saturday’s friendly defeat to Real Betis, and barely ever went long, instead picking out a team-mate with a side-footed pass.

He has clearly been charged with the task of retaining possession and being the instigator of Boro’s counter-attacks, a challenge he will be more than happy to take on this season.

“I really enjoy playing in this way and being on the ball,” said Dieng, who is a Swiss-born Senegal international. “Because Middlesbrough is a very good team, that’s probably what I am going to be asked to do more in the games.

“I don’t anticipate being too busy with lots of saves to have to make. But I enjoy playing with my feet. I am confident doing that, and it’s how I grew up, it’s the style I’ve always known how to play.”


Dieng had a number of different offers this summer, but joined Boro for a reported fee of around £2m, signing a four-year deal at the Riverside.

He was impressed with Boro’s performances under Carrick in the second half of last season, most notably when he was part of the QPR side that was on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat at the Riverside in mid-February.

“I think the last game we had against Boro definitely helped convince me,” said Dieng. “From my perspective as a QPR player, it was not a good experience.

“The way Boro played was very impressive, and I think the way they played suits me a lot. It was quite the opposite to the way they played when we met earlier in the season and we (QPR) played very well.

“That second game, they really blew us away, and the things that the gaffer had implemented was very impressive. So, it was an easy decision for me to come here. Based on what I’ve seen so far since I’ve been here, plus what I saw last season, I think there is no limit to what’s possible for us to achieve this season.”