Belfast Telegraph

Kalas back at Boro

Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas is targetting automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League after securing a season-long loan move to Middlesbrough.

The 22-year-old Czech Republic international, who spent the second half of last season at the Riverside Stadium, was given special permission by the Blues to join the Teessiders on their pre-season training trip to Marbella, where he put pen to paper on Friday morning.

Now Kalas, who missed last season's play-off games because his loan deal had come to an end, is hoping to avoid the end-of-season lottery.

He told Boro's official website, www.mfc.co.uk: "Obviously I wanted to be involved. Those were something special at the end because you were playing for promotion and I didn't have a chance to help the team.

"It was a bit disappointing I couldn't play, but this is a new challenge and hopefully we can get promoted without the play-offs."

Kalas revealed he did not have to think twice after being offered the chance to return to the north-east, where he made 17 appearances for the club last season.

He said: "I'd already decided at the end of last season that if Chelsea would like to get me on loan again, this would be my first choice, so it was easy when I heard I could stay.

"It's been easy to adapt because I know the lads. I know Marbella because we came here last year, so it's been easy.

"I think we're still building the team. It's a mix of everything. Everyone is still working on it and I think we will be stronger than before."

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