Neil Warnock is firmly in the spotlight as Middlesbrough prepare to host Sheffield United on Tuesday evening.
Boro are currently sat in 18th with just two wins from nine matches so far this season. Frustrating one goal losses against Blackpool and Reading have hampered Warnock’s endeavours to build on their 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest.
Going into the season the board would have been aiming for a play-off push and the ambitious additions of Andraz Sporar, James Lea Siliki and Martin Payero showed that they were willing to backup that ambition.
Warnock has not been able to get the best out of their foreign imports, which it feels apparent he was not involved in the recruitment of, and could be heading into his final match in management on Tuesday evening.
With the stakes high, we take a look at two potential tactical tweaks Warnock could make ahead of Middlesbrough v Sheffield United…
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Duncan Watmore has been a bit part player so far this season with Isaiah Jones coming through as the surprise package of Boro’s pre-season.
Watmore scored nine and assisted one last term, averaging a direct goal involvement every ten matches.
With the manager under pressure if there is any player in the Championship you want in your side to run through brick walls for you, Watmore would have to be up there and having picked him up as a free agent Warnock will be desperate for the former England U21 international to repay his faith.
Quiz: Have Middlesbrough ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
Uche Ikpeazu has been on the bench in the last three outings seemingly displaced from the side by Sporar, the Londoner scored in two of the opening three league matches and looked to be cementing his place at the top of the pitch.
With Matt Crooks’ red card overturned he is likely to take his place in central midfield, an old school 4-4-2 formation could be the tonic that Warnock turns to in looking for a change in fortunes.
It feels like Warnock will revert to the players he trusts for such a crunch encounter and Ikpeazu will be amongst that group. Sheffield United pose a tough challenge and the Boro boss may look to fight fire with fire.