Defender discusses Sheffield Wednesday speculation, Tony Pulis and future plans

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Former Middlesbrough defender Ryan Shotton still believes he can play in the Championship as he continues to search for a new club.

The 32-year-old left the Riverside after his contract expired in July and has been playing for non-league club Leek Town to keep himself fit.

Shotton signed for Boro in the summer of 2017, when Garry Monk was in charge, but didn’t become a first-team regular until Tony Pulis was appointed on Teesside.

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Shotton still has huge respect for Pulis and is wondering if he’ll get the chance to play for him again, following the Welshman’s appointment at Sheffield Wednesday last week.

Defender Ryan Shotton left Middlesbrough after his contract expired in July.Defender Ryan Shotton left Middlesbrough after his contract expired in July.
Defender Ryan Shotton left Middlesbrough after his contract expired in July.

“That’s already been pointed out to me,” Shotton told Stoke-on-Trent Live when asked about Pulis.

"For what Tony Pulis has done for my career I will never say a bad word about him. If you do what he asks, you get rewarded and stay in his team.

“It’s like in any job, if the manager asks you to do it, you do it and he gets results. It’s not rocket science.

“I’m sure he knows I’m available."

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Shotton struggled with injuries during his final season at the Riverside but played regularly under Jonathan Woodgate when available.

"There were ups and downs at Middlesbrough,” recalled Shotton when asked about his time at Boro.

"Garry Monk signed me having chased me for eight weeks – but then he didn’t play me for about five months.

"Then I played one game just before Christmas at Sheffield Wednesday away, scored the winner – and he got sacked that night!

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"Tony came in and we reached the play-off semis. It was a tough tie against Aston Villa and we lost to a set piece over two legs. Then we faded away at the end of the next season after being in the play-off places virtually the whole time.

"They were great experiences and I don’t think Jonathan Woodgate had the resources to take the club to his nor the club’s potential. He really dreamed about doing that job at a club he adores and he worked his socks off. I’m gutted it didn’t work out."

Despite struggling to find a club since leaving Boro, Shotton remains confident in his own ability and believes he can still be an asset for a Championship club.

"I can still be at Championship level,” he added.

"It’s just a matter of waiting to see what comes up.

"As it stands it’s a tricky situation and I understand there’s not a lot of money in the game.

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"If the right thing doesn’t appear, I have a young family and I’m not going to sell myself short.

"I’m hoping to be sorted in the next three to four weeks. The January window will get things moving before Christmas and, as fixtures come so quickly, clubs are going to need an injection of players.

"I benefit from that because not many will be able to go and pay £1m to sign someone. I can bring experience and hopefully the right manager and the right team will happen."

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