It’s been a torrid start to the campaign for Middlesbrough, and something has to change.
The 2-0 defeat against Derby County last weekend made it eight games without a win, with Boro only winning two of 15 in the Championship all season.
While Jonathan Woodgate’s hands have been somewhat tied by the cuts to the club wage bill, he will be far from happy at the fact that his side are currently sitting in the relegation zone.
Middlesbrough travel to Queens Park Rangers this weekend in the hope of getting back to winning ways against Mark Warburton’s side, and he has a number of decisions to make regarding selection.
Alongside the likes of George Friend and Darren Randolph who are long-term absentees, Boro will now be without Marcus Browne after he picked up a hamstring injury against Manchester United U23s, and George Saville who faces a three-match ban for being sent off against Derby County.
Here are some of the players who Jonathan Woodgate could call upon to get his team back on track.
The full-back has had a mixed start to life on Teesside.
The former Charlton man has struggled to make the right-back slot his own with Jonathan Woodgate preferring the use of Jonny Howson as a more experienced option on the right flank.
George Saville’s suspension means that Woodgate will have to change things around, with one option being that Howson returns to his natural position in the middle of the park.
Another would be for Paddy McNair, who played in central defence against Derby, to return to central midfield with Dijksteel coming into the defensive line.
Options are somewhat limited, and perhaps bringing the full-back back into the team is the best option to allow as many players as possible to play in their best position.
George Saville’s suspension is the main headache for Jonathan Woodgate this weekend, but thankfully he does have a ready-made replacement in reserve.
Adam Clayton has dropped down the pecking order under Woodgate but could be brought back in to solidify the Middlesbrough midfield against QPR.
He may not be as dynamic a player as Saville, but he will recycle possession well and allow the likes of Lewis Wing and Marcus Tavernier to play their natural game on the front foot.
Creativity has been a real problem for Middlesbrough this season, but what we saw against Manchester United U23s is a player who could offer something different.
Coulson is a full-back by trade but loves to get forward and add an extra body to the attack.
Against United, the 21-year-old was used as a left winger and showed signs of promise as he looked to get on the ball and probe the defensive line.
It might not be the ideal solution, but if Coulson could carry out a similar role at Loftus Road then perhaps Middlesbrough may have find a potential solution to their attacking woes.