Kalas keen to make fresh start at Boro

Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas has told the Northern Echo he hopes his loan spell at Middlesbrough will act as a fresh start for his career.

Kalas admitted he regretted rejecting Boro in the summer to join Bundesliga side Cologne, where he failed to make an appearance in a loan spell that was cut short after six months.

The 21-year-old Czech agreed a switch to the Riverside Stadium last week and made his debut in a goalless draw with Reading on Saturday, playing 90 minutes at right-back.

Kalas said: “In the last year and a half, I can count the number of games I have played on one hand. There weren’t many, so I hope this is the start of a better future.

“It didn’t go the way I would have wanted at Cologne. I had zero games and zero minutes. I’m just pleased it’s over to be honest.

“Everyone can imagine what it was like for a player who wasn’t playing and who wants to play. I went there on loan to play, but it didn’t work out well.

“I hope the fact I played the first game here is a sign of things to come. It’s a good start and hopefully I can improve myself.”

Kalas made four appearances for Chelsea last season, including playing 90 minutes against Liverpool in April, and previously had a loan spell at Dutch club Vitesse.

He is one of three Chelsea players on Middlesbrough’s books, alongside striker Patrick Bamford and defender Kenneth Omeruo, and says the familiar faces will help him adjust to the Championship.

“When I came, I already knew some people, so that made it easier to settle in,” said Kalas.

“You have people who you can ask about training, or the game day, or even just about the food. It’s been helpful that Patrick and Kenneth are here.”

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