Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock insists that there needs to be patience with Isaiah Jones after the winger was an unused substitute in the defeat to Birmingham City on Saturday.
The 22-year-old was brought to Teesside from non-league in 2019 and he managed to force his way into the first-team squad for the current campaign after a productive pre-season.
Fans have been impressed with his pace and direct style down the flank, so there has been some frustration that he hasn’t been given more opportunities.
However, speaking to Teesside Live, Warnock responded to those questions as he explained how Jones has surpassed his expectations.
“It’s easy to forget he wasn’t even in my thoughts for this season at the start of the summer. The plan was to loan him out like last year when he went to Queen of the South.
“It was only by taking him to Cornwall that changed and he had a really good start to the season. But then he hit a bit of brick wall – two or three weeks in training where he was trying to do a little bit too much. But the last two weeks I’ve been very, very pleased with him. But that’s how young lads are. They’re up and down.”
You can understand why fans have wanted to see Jones more often because he is an exciting, talented player and Boro aren’t exactly the most prolific side.
But, you have to respect Warnock’s opinion on this because he is the one that gets to see the squad on a day-to-day basis and the plan for Jones was clearly for him not to be playing regularly at this level.
So, there needs to be patience and it will be interesting to see if he plays a part against Luton Town tomorrow night.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.