Middlesbrough defender David Wheater admits he's been amazed by his progress this season.

He said: "I can't really believe what's happened. On New Year's Eve I said to my mam 'it's not been a bad year for me has it?'.

"She said 'no and hopefully you can have an even better one this year'.

"I've said that before the first friendly in the summer (Schalke 04 in Austria) I was about fourth choice and even then I was only that high because there were a few injuries.

"But then a few more players got injured on the day and I played. Since then it's gone on from there and hopefully I can keep climbing the pecking order and become first choice."