NZ’s Killen hoping for new Middlesbrough deal

New Zealand striker Chris Killen is hoping he can win a new deal with English Championship club Middlesbrough.

The 28-year old ex-Celtic man knows a good performance for his nation against reigning world champions Italy in the All Whites’ second World Cup match in Nelspruit will go a long way to convincing the Teessiders to offer him a fresh deal.

"I'm out of contract at the end of the month so it's a big time for me and it's probably important to have stepped up and show I can do it," Killen told AFP. "I'm still talking to Middlesbrough.”

"I haven't heard from the manager for about a month but I'm not too worried about that now. I'm worried about my football here and trying to get through the group. To get a goal against Italy would be brilliant. Anybody who scores against the world champions is going to get a bit of attention."

Killen added that New Zealand’s last-gasp draw against Slovakia in their Group F opener will make other teams sit up and take notice and believes with some good fortune that they can push Italy to the brink.

"A lot of people have said we were coming out here to make up the numbers but that's not the case,” he added. “Hopefully after the Slovakia result, we've earned a bit more respect. We're not going to get carried away. We're just going to go and give it our all, put our hearts into it and see where we go.

"But if we can get some good crosses in, I think we can trouble them. That's definitely an advantage for our team. We've got a lot of big strong boys, and hopefully we'll get chances if we put it in the box. When we do that, we cause problems and against Slovakia we had three or four chances that, on another day, might have gone in."