Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

My Pledge by Pogi

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

My Pledge by Pogi

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Steel

Emanuel Pogatetz feels he has found a home at Boro and wants to stay at the club for years to come.

The Austrian defender had his doubters after signing a five-year deal from Bayer Leverkusen last summer.

But after developing into one of Boro's most reliable performers - and learning to keep his notorious temper in check - the 24-year-old is settled on Teesside and savouring the challenge of the Premiership.

"This the happiest I've been in my career, I have to say," said Pogatetz.

"Everything is going well for me and I think I've settled down a little bit at the Boro.

"In football it can change quick, you have to perform week by week but at the moment I'm really enjoying it.

"This is where I've always wanted to be, I've worked hard all of my career to come here.

"And I'm really enjoying it at Boro now. I'm feeling really at home, so I hope I will be here for a long time at Boro.

"I really like it here, all of the people, the area and the most important thing is I get on well with the players in the squad.

"We have lots of respect for each other. I want to play as long as possible for Boro and I hope I can do well for the club and achieve something with the club also."

Pogatetz's temperament was called into question when he first arrived on Teesside, with Boro coach Steve Harrison dubbing him "Mad Dog" for his full-throttle style of play.

But after a string of erratic incidents last term, the pounds 1.8m centre-back insists he has mellowed and is just happy to let his football do the talking.

"I think the Mad Dog is a thing of the past," he said. "Of course there are some incidents where maybe I have to be more calm.

"I have to know that I can't win every ball and there are some things I have to work on.

"But last season is gone for me. I know that sometimes I over-reacted and this season I've just tried to concentrate on my game.

"I think if you can leave your answers on the field, that's the best thing to do.

"I think there has been a big improvement in my game from last season on the mental side and I'm really happy with how it's going at the moment. …

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