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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 Middlesbrough 45 26 10 9 88 32
2 Burnley 44 24 15 5 87 33
3 Brighton 44 24 15 5 87 30
4 Hull City 45 23 11 11 80 30
5 Derby County 44 21 14 9 77 24
6 Sheff Wed 45 19 17 9 74 22
7 Cardiff 45 17 16 12 67 5
8 Ipswich 45 17 15 13 66 1
9 Birmingham 45 16 14 15 62 4
10 Brentford 45 18 8 19 62 1
11 Preston 45 15 16 14 61 0
12 Leeds Utd 45 14 16 15 58 -8
13 Q.P.R. 44 13 18 13 57 0
14 Wolves 45 13 16 16 55 -6
15 Blackburn 45 12 16 17 52 -2
16 Reading 45 13 13 19 52 -5
17 Forest 45 12 16 17 52 -5
18 Bristol City 45 13 13 19 52 -16
19 Huddersfield 45 13 12 20 51 -7
20 Rotherham 45 13 10 22 49 -14
21 Fulham 45 11 15 19 48 -14
R Charlton 45 9 13 23 40 -37
R MK Dons 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Bolton 45 5 15 25 30 -39
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