This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
Football League World’s Middlesbrough fan pundit Phil Wrightson has issued his verdict on the club’s decision to recall young striker Tyrone O’Neill from his loan with National League North club Darlington, suggesting it may be difficult for him to adjust to the step up in quality.
The 20-year-old joined on a six-month loan in the summer and has scored seven times in 17 appearances for the Quakers this season.
With Jonathan Woodgate’s first-team squad depleted by injuries, Boro recalled O’Neill last week.
The North East club have made a disappointing start to the season, slipping into the relegation zone and scoring the least goals in the Championship so far.
Wrightson ran the rule over the decision to recall the young striker and suggested the 20-year-old faced a big step up in quality.
He said: “I think bringing O’Neill back from his loan, where he was playing in the sixth tier of the pyramid, is a reminder of how threadbare our squad is.
“I have spoken to Darlington fans who have been very impressed with him but, with all respect, it’s a hell of a leap from National League North to a Championship relegation struggle and therefore I’m not sure how successful it will be.
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“It may be that we are bringing him in as an emergency cover in case we suffer any more injuries or to chuck upfront as a last gasp measure if, and when, we are losing as by all accounts he is a big lad who can make a nuisance of himself in the opposition box and that may not be a bad plan.”
Due to the international break, Boro’s will have to wait 13 days until their next game–a visit from Hull City.