Chuba Akpom has what it takes to be a success at Middlesbrough, according to Neil Warnock.
The striker has endured a mixed time since moving to Teesside last summer after struggling to hit the goal trail for the Championship side.
Akpom has scored just four goals for the club so far this term, but most damning was Warnock’s comments last week that appeared to hint at some level of regret over his arrival at the club.
However addressing his comments, Warnock said that this absolutely isn’t the case.
As quoted by Teesside Live, Warnock said: “I think it was taken out of context a bit.
“We just hadn’t seen him live when he was top of the recruitment list. We agreed that he looked the best bet, but we weren’t able to see him live.
“I just meant that we need to watch players live before we sign them really, and we should be able to do that between now and the end of the summer.
“It wasn’t intended to be a slur on Chuba, it was just an issue that we couldn’t see him live before we bought him.”
Warnock added: “There’s no reason why he can’t still be a success at Middlesbrough. It’s down to himself really.
“He’s got to try and be as lively as he was when he came off the bench on Saturday.
“We speak a lot about inconsistencies and that isn’t limited to Chuba that’s right through the squad.
“But the last time he came on before Saturday [against Bristol City] I thought he was really poor. The inconsistency around the team is what bugs me more than anything.
“If someone tells me they’re not feeling well or something like that before a game, I can sort that out.
“But when they come off the bench and don’t influence the game or don’t look up to it, that’s a problem.
“That’s not just Chuba, that’s any substitute. I expect explosiveness coming on, and really showing me what I’ve missed by not starting them in the first place.”
Are you Middlesbrough mad? Try get 20 out of 20 on this Boro quiz all about the club’s season so far
It’s early days for Chuba Akpom at Middlesbrough.
Things haven’t quite worked out how he’d hope so far but there will be plenty of opportunities for him to make his mark on the team and establish himself as a reliable performer.
Supporters will be hoping that they can see this sooner rather than later as their play-off hopes hang in the balance.