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2 accurate crosses, 7/20 successful duels: Why Middlesbrough player showed vs Huddersfield Town that he may need replacing next season

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Middlesbrough’s play-off challenge is fading in the most important moments of the season, and a 2-0 Easter Monday defeat to Huddersfield Town may end up being massive in the grand scheme of things.

Going into the clash with the Terriers at the Riverside Stadium, Boro had picked up just one point out of a possible nine from their last three matches, and they had to into battle with Carlos Corberan’s men without a midfield warrior in Matt Crooks.

That lack of bite in midfield perhaps showed as goals from Naby Sarr and Jordan Rhodes gave the visitors all three points and showed that Boro perhaps need a bit more in their squad if they’re going to be serious promotion contenders.

They were missing Dael Fry and Crooks but there were poor performances from regular starters on the pitch – one of those being Marc Bola.

Wing-backs are an important part of Chris Wilder’s system and Bola, when he’s been fit, is the first-choice on the left-hand side at the Riverside.

Monday wasn’t his finest hour in a Boro shirt though as he lost his individual battle against the dangerous Sorba Thomas – and quite comfortably as well.

Bola had to not only deal with the threat of the Wales international but also had to provide an attacking threat, however he did neither too well at all.

Going forward, Bola completed just two out of seven attempted crosses (all stats via Wyscout), made just one progressive run but to his credit completed five of his seven attempts at dribbling with the ball.

His defensive stats were pretty sombre though, aside from the seven interceptions he racked up.

Bola won just seven of his 20 duels, including losing out in all four defensive duels attempted, won just one out of his four attempted aerial duels and lost the ball 11 times – twice in his own half.

The 24-year-old’s performance perhaps showed Wilder that an improvement is needed in his position in the summer transfer window if Boro want to be serious promotion contenders – he had Ireland international Enda Stevens to call upon when he was at Sheffield United and perhaps someone of that calibre could come in and challenge Bola for a starting spot.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 accurate crosses, 7/20 successful duels: Why Middlesbrough player showed vs Huddersfield Town that he may need replacing next season

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