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3 Middlesbrough players who must step up to help Jonathan Woodgate out of trouble

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Jonathan Woodgate’s first role in management certainly hasn’t gone to plan.

Middlesbrough have averaged less than a point-per-game after picking up 13 points from their opening 16 games, resulting in them sitting in the Championship relegation zone.

Not only that, but the Teessiders are also on a run of nine games without a win.

While the 2-2 draw against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend felt like a step in the right direction, there’s still plenty of work to be done in Woodgate’s side are going to get themselves out of trouble.

If that’s to happen, then it’s essential that several Middlesbrough players up their performance levels.

Here are three of the players who must step up to guide Jonathan Woodgate’s side out of trouble.

Lewis Wing

The midfielder was a revelation under Tony Pulis last season as his box-to-box play made him the complete package in midfield.

Add to that his wonderful ability to find the net from range, and you had a player who looked like he was really going places.

Things haven’t quite worked out for Lewis Wing so far this season, but based on the level of influence he had last term, it’s essential that Jonathan Woodgate finds a way to get himself back to his best.

Wing often looks most dangerous when given the freedom to roam forward, and perhaps that’s something that needs to be looked at as the Teessiders look to add a bit of creativity to a somewhat stale midfield.

Will Middlesbrough's 2-2 draw with QPR act as the turning point in their season?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Ashley Fletcher

He’s a player who has never really made the grade at Championship level, but Middlesbrough need to see more of Fletcher.

The former Man United trainee led Sunderland’s attack as they were relegated, and scored a career-high of nine goals under Tony Pulis last term.

This season, Fletcher has scored two and created two – not an impressive tally when you take into account that he scored and assisted in the league opener against Luton Town.

The issue with Ashley Fletcher is that it’s hard to know what his best position is as he’s not ruthless enough to be a centre forward and not dynamic enough to be a wide man.

Whatever happens, Jonathan Woodgate could do with some decent performances from Fletcher as he’s painfully short of quality in attacking areas.

Britt Assombalonga

A player who is going to feel the burden of responsibility as the season progresses.

As mentioned, Middlesbrough have a real lack of attacking talent in their team – and even less creativity.

Britt Assombalonga is a proven goalscorer at this level, meaning that as it stands it looks like he’ll almost single-handedly need to get the goals to guide Middlesbrough to safety.

It’s not exactly fair, but it’s the way things seem to be at the Riverside Stadium.

A brace against QPR was an excellent way to get himself back on track, but Woodgate will be hoping and praying that Assombalonga can hit the goal trail hard in the coming weeks and months.


North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 Middlesbrough players who must step up to help Jonathan Woodgate out of trouble

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