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2 Middlesbrough dilemmas that will be playing on Neil Warnock’s mind over the international break

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Neil Warnock will be hoping for his side to move up a gear when the Championship returns to action next weekend.

Boro have endured a solid if spectacular start to the season, yielding six points from their first opening five league games.

Warnock’s side have only suffered defeat once, but it will now be about turning draws into wins having fallen to three stalemates.

Boro return to league action next week with a trip to the CBS Arena to face Coventry City, hoping to return to winning ways after back-to-back draws.

With the transfer window now over, all of Warnock’s focus will be going into the upcoming fixtures in the Championship.

Here, we take a look at two dilemmas that will be playing on Warnock’s mind over the international break ahead of the Championship’s return…

How to get the best out of Martin Payero

There was plenty of excitement amongst Boro fans when the club worked hard to bring in Martin Payero this summer.

The highly-rated Argentine had impressed over in his native, and made the move over to England with expectations high.

So far, Payero has been unable to make an impact at the Riverside. He’s played only 22 minutes of football in the Championship, featuring a four-minute cameo in the defeat to QPR.

He has been an unused substitute in Boro’s last two games, too, and whilst there is a feeling of having to be patient with the 22-year-old, they cannot wait forever.

How they get the best out of Payero remains to be seen, having deployed him through the middle and out wide so far.

Settling on a formation

Soccer Football – Carabao Cup – First Round – Blackpool v Middlesbrough – Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, Britain – August 11, 2021 Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock looks on Action Images/Ed Sykes EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

As they try to find a winning formula, Warnock will also be looking to build a bit of cohesion and understanding amongst his players.

The manager deployed a 3-5-2 system in the draw with Blackburn last time out, but previously chose to go with a 4-1-4-1 and 4-2-3-1 system against Derby and QPR.

The draw against Blackburn was the first time this season where they have deployed a three-at-the-back system, which suggests that he is still unsure whether to go with a traditional back four or not.

Whatever he goes with, Warnock needs to trust it and stick with it going forward.


Nottingham-based journalist who regularly covers Nottingham Forest home and away.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 2 Middlesbrough dilemmas that will be playing on Neil Warnock’s mind over the international break

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