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Emotional return for ex-Boro defender

Emotional return for ex-Boro defender

Former Middlesbrough defender Matthew Bates is set for an emotional return to the Riverside with Bristol City this weekend.

The 25-year-old centre-back is currently on a short-term deal with the Robins after being released by Boro at the end of last season.

He had been recently training with the Teessiders while trying to make a comeback from a fifth cruciate operation but subsequently failed to agree new terms.

"It will be strange going back there," Stockton-born Bates told the Evening Gazette. "Boro are my hometown club, they're the team I supported as a boy and I made my professional debut there.

"I captained the team and made over 100 appearances for the club," he added. "I had a lot of good years there. All my friends and family are big Boro fans too so Saturday will be strange."

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Writer:Vital Boro
Date:Wednesday November 21 2012
Time: 1:57PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Hull City 29 17 5 7 56 26
2 Middlesbrough 28 17 5 6 56 23
3 Burnley 30 15 10 5 55 22
4 Brighton 29 14 11 4 53 9
5 Derby County 30 13 12 5 51 14
6 Sheff Wed 30 13 11 6 50 12
7 Ipswich 30 13 9 8 48 2
8 Birmingham 30 13 8 9 47 8
9 Cardiff 30 11 12 7 45 5
10 Forest 30 10 12 8 42 6
11 Wolves 30 10 10 10 40 -1
12 Brentford 30 11 7 12 40 -2
13 Q.P.R. 30 9 12 9 39 1
14 Preston 30 9 12 9 39 -1
15 Reading 30 9 9 12 36 0
16 Leeds Utd 30 8 12 10 36 -5
17 Huddersfield 30 8 8 14 32 -4
18 Blackburn 28 6 13 9 31 0
19 Fulham 29 6 11 12 29 -5
20 Bristol City 30 6 10 14 28 -22
21 MK Dons 29 7 6 16 27 -18
22 Rotherham 30 7 4 19 25 -19
23 Bolton 30 4 12 14 24 -21
24 Charlton 30 5 9 16 24 -30
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