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3 Middlesbrough players who will be hoping to impress Jonathan Woodgate against Man United U23s

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Things aren’t going to plan for Middlesbrough at the moment.

Two wins in 15 games as seen the Teessiders drop into the Championship relegation zone, meaning that they could be in for a surprise basement battle this term.

Jonathan Woodgate’s introduction as manager signalled the start of the overused ‘season of transition’ excuse, but even that doesn’t account for the poor start to the season at the Riverside Stadium.

Players look bereft of confidence and Jonathan Woodgate looks to be lacking in ideas, meaning that it could be time for some fresh faces to enter the fold.

Middlesbrough have a number of talented young players In their ranks, and while many boast little in the way of Championship experience, they could provide the injection needed to jolt this team into action.

The Teessiders host Manchester United U23s at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night where a number of fringe players are set to be given a chance to impress.

But who are the stars who are looking to convince Jonathan Woodgate to give them a first team opportunity? Let’s take a look.

Hayden Coulson

The 21-year-old was hugely impressive as he started the season at full-back for Middlesbrough.

Unfortunately for him, an injury saw him ruled out for almost two months.

Coulson featured against both Huddersfield Town and Fulham in recent weeks, but will be hoping to get 90 minutes under his belt against Manchester United.

If the left-sided player can prove his fitness, he’ll be hoping that he’s done enough to start for Middlesbrough against Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

Marc Bola

Things haven’t quite worked out for the 21-year-old since arriving from Blackpool.

Bola started the season in reserve behind Hayden Coulson before looking decent as Middlesbrough enjoyed a run of four games without defeat against Wigan, Millwall, Bristol City and Reading.

However things went sour in a torrid first 45 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday when Bola was turned inside-out by the Owls, leading to him being taken off at the break.

The full-back hasn’t featured for Boro since that day at the end of September, and perhaps an outing for the U23s against Man United is the sort of game where he can rebuild some confidence.

Stephen Walker

There’s no doubting that Middlesbrough’s biggest flaw this season has been their lack of goalscoring ability.

Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher both look like they’re struggling for confidence, and such is the lack of depth in the squad, it appears that Stephen Walker is the next in line.

The 19-year-old has made a couple of cameo appearances so far this season, but with goals at a premium perhaps it’s time to give him a proper chance to impress at first team level.

Afterall, it’s not like Assombalonga and Fletcher are doing much to keep him out of the team.

Yes, it would be a huge gamble to give him a chance in the Championship but perhaps an impressive display for the U23s against Man United could convince Jonathan Woodgate that it’s a risk worth taking.


North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 Middlesbrough players who will be hoping to impress Jonathan Woodgate against Man United U23s

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