Patrick Roberts & 3 other Middlesbrough players who will be vital in relegation run-in – Teesside Live

Posted: June 12, 2020 at 1:47 am


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Boro need to wrap Patrick Roberts in cotton wool ahead of their battle to stay in the Championship.

The highly talented Manchester City loanee has a massive role to play in Boros bid to guarantee their ongoing place in this division.

Roberts took little time to settle on his arrival on Teesside and was soon oozing quality and making things happen.

His ability to run with the ball and his close control inside the box will be a key factor in Boros ability to score goals in the final nine games.

All the more reason why Boro need to tread carefully with Roberts away from competitive action, because they will need him on the pitch as much as possible.

But then this applies to the bulk of the clubs attack-minded players.

Jonathan Woodgate has displayed a positive approach to his team plans from day one and will relish the opportunity to have his most creative players on the pitch at the same time.

The three men who lined up behind Rudy Gestede in the last match against Charlton at The Valley will also be vital to the cause.

Woodgate operated with Marcus Tavernier, Lewis Wing and Hayden Coulson behind Gestede. All three have a natural instinct to push forward and create opportunities in the final third of the pitch.

The trio may be relatively young in football terms, but they appear to play without any nerves. This will also prove to be an important factor in the nine-match mini season.

Once the Championship games get under-way again, the current fun football on the training pitch will quickly disappear for those teams near the foot of the table.

The reality of the dog-eat-dog battle for survival will hit home with a bang. Some players will struggle to cope, after having slightly switched off since mid-March.

In this respect Boro are fortunate to have such level-headed kids at their disposal.

When Woodgate pitched them in at the beginning of the season, he stressed that they played without any fear.

This has proved to be correct. It gives the Boro squad an additional ace up their sleeves.

Another crucial ingredient will be the ability of the out-of-contract players to go out and play with clear heads.

There has been a great deal written nationally about the danger of out-of-contract players being worried that they might pick up injuries in the nine games.

Naturally a serious injury picked up in these games would affect their prospects of getting a move to another decent club and at the same time put the futures of themselves and their families at risk.

On the other side of the coin, a positive approach for the out-of-contract players is likely to be more rewarding than a negative one.

These players need to be brave. They must remember that they are effectively putting themselves in the shop window over the last nine games.

Some of them could end up staying at Boro, of course, especially as there is so much uncertainty within the game away from the Premier League.

How many clubs might not have the financial muscle to continue next season, especially if the season must begin behind closed doors?

The existence of some EFL clubs is uncertain. Out-of-contract players everywhere may have to accept that all salaries on offer are going to drop away from the top flight.

The bonus for Boro is that there is a togetherness in the dressing room. There are no reported cliques. Its all for one, and one for all.

In this respect Boro will surely approach these nine games with a strong mental attitude and produce the level of effort needed to keep the club in the Championship.

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Patrick Roberts & 3 other Middlesbrough players who will be vital in relegation run-in - Teesside Live

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June 12th, 2020 at 1:47 am

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