Middlesbrough will be hoping to continue their positive run of form under Chris Wilder when they come up against Bournemouth later today.
It’s been a positive start for Wilder who has overseen two wins, two draws, and a defeat in his five games so far.
Not only that, but the style of play has improved with a more intense press out of possession contributing to more opportunities created for his side.
Boro were goalless in their last game against Stoke as they drew 0-0 but there was still plenty of positives on show for Wilder’s team.
Bournemouth on the other hand have struggled of late and are currently winless in their last five games.
Despite this poor run of form for the Cherries, they have a squad packed full of talent making it a difficult game for Boro.
Here, we’ve taken a look at two Middlesbrough dilemmas that Wilder is facing ahead of this clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.
Does he start Martin Payero?
Payero has had a difficult start to life at Boro having only made nine league appearances so far this season with six of them being starts.
However, with Matt Crooks being an injury doubt coming into this game, Wilder will be looking to add a player into the side who carries a threat in attacking areas.
Payero obviously falls into that category but has so far struggled to get up to speed with Championship football. The Argentine is yet to make an appearance under Wilder with the former Sheffield United recently explaining the need to be cautious with Payero to local media.
Previous boss Neil Warnock took a similar approach and when Payero did finally break into the side, he suffered an injury and has been getting over that since.
This could be the ideal game for Wilder to field the 22-year-old and with the busy Christmas schedule coming up ahead, utilising the squad is going to be important.
Getting a tune out of his forwards
It’s been an interesting few weeks watching Boro under Wilder.
We’ve seen positive developments when it comes to the style of play and naturally, it’s taking time for players to adjust to that. But the results so far have been positive for Wilder’s side.
One criticism though could be aimed at the forward areas and the lack of goals from those that fill the striker positions.
Only Duncan Watmore has scored under Wilder so far and whilst he’s an incredibly gifted player with the ball at his feet, he showed his lack of predatory instinct last week against Stoke when he missed a golden opportunity from four yards out.
Boro currently have Uche Ikpeazu, Andraz Sporar, and Josh Coburn, and all three are yet to convince under Wilder.
Wilder will need to find a way to get more goals out of his front men if he is to see this side reach its potential, otherwise more 0-0 draws could be on the horizon.