It has been a difficult start to the season for Middlesbrough and for Duncan Watmore in particular, the former England U21 international returned in midweek as Boro defeated Sheffield United 2-0.
Watmore was picked up by Neil Warnock as a free agent last season and has taken his second chance in the Championship gleefully since but injury meant he has had to be patient for his opportunity this term.
The 27-year-old bagged the opener inside the first ten minutes on Tuesday evening and explained how staying positive was the key to coming back strongly from the injury.
He said: “We keep grinding and keep working as a team and we did that tonight (Tuesday evening) which was brilliant to be a part of. It’s been difficult for me personally but I know that that’s football.
“I’ve just kept my head down, kept grinding, continued to do the right things and stayed positive. That’s what I’ve done and whenever I am called upon I will always try and do the best I can possibly do for this team.”
Boro can close the gap between them and the play-off places to just one point on Saturday which would make Neil Warnock’s job a lot more secure than it was going into this week. Outlooks can change very quickly in football.
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Watmore’s journey at Middlesbrough has been very heart-warming, Warnock completed an excellent piece of business to bring him in as a free agent having struggled for fitness in his last couple of years at Sunderland. Now 27, Watmore is looking to establish himself as an effective forward at second tier level and nine goals and one assist last term suggest he is making good progress in that.
The former Black Cat’s infectious work rate and dribbling ability make him a perfect fit in a Neil Warnock side, a player you can guarantee will leave everything out on the pitch and if Tuesday evening’s screamer was anything to go by the rest of the division need to be prepared for the threat he poses.