Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate hopes to keep defender Chris Riggott, despite interest from promoted Stoke City.

"Chris told me that he enjoyed coming back more than he thought he would," revealed Southgate on Boro's website. "With Chris, I learned a lesson that I need to pick players on form, not reputation.

"He maybe feels it was an uneven playing field last season but I have assured him that it won't be like that next year."

And Southgate knows that replacing Riggott would not be an easy task.

"If he goes, you have to ask if you can get someone else of his ability and experience."