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Bates looking to upset family members

Posted: Thu 07 Mar 2013
Author: Adam Baker
Matthew Bates

Matthew Bates

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Defender ahead of the visit of his former club.

Matthew Bates admits he could upset some family members if he plays any part in the downfall of his own boyhood club this weekend.

The defender, who recently signed a deal until the end of the season, could come up against Middlesbrough for the first time at Ashton Gate on Saturday (3pm).

Having come through the youth ranks at the Riverside, Bates spent six years with Boro before finally departing in November and joining up with City.

Looking ahead to a first reunion with his old side, Bates said: “This is definitely a case of divided loyalties for my family.

“I’m fine with it, because I have a job to do for Bristol City and I want to win the game for them.

“But it will be difficult for my family, who are all Middlesbrough fans. They want their team to win, but they also want me to do well.

“It is one of those where they want the best for their son, their brother or their friend at the same time as wanting the best for their club.

“Quite a few of my family are coming down and they’ve asked for tickets in the away end. I’m not sure I should do that, to be honest!”

He added: “Thankfully after getting over the illness I had when the gaffer (Sean O’Driscoll) first arrived, I’ve been able to impress him enough to earn an extended deal.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, the lads are great and I’m delighted with the chance to stay.”