Anfernee Dijksteel finally found his way back into contention for the starting eleven for Middlesbrough against Birmingham at the weekend and although the player didn’t manage to get off the bench, it was a positive step back to fitness for the 25-year-old – but boss Neil Warnock has told Teesside Live that he will be watching defender going forward.
Dijksteel has managed eight games so far this year – with one assist to boot – and has looked lively on the flank when he hasn’t been sidelined. In fact, since his move to Boro from Charlton, he has featured for the Championship side regularly and has looked solid along the way.
The issue for the player this year has been in terms of injuries. The defender would likely have featured a lot more for the second tier outfit but he was ruled out for over a month with a knock and has suffered previously with injuries too.
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It’s been a blow for Neil Warnock to lose the player, with Dijksteel a key figure to have in the side’s defence. To help ensure they are able to keep the 25-year-old in contention, the Boro boss has now told Teesside Live that he is watching the player even more closely to ensure he doesn’t do any more damage to himself.
He said: “I’ve been watching him.
“I’ve made sure he’s done certain things that he might not have done in the past as well. It’s amazing how players can train that little bit more if the manager is watching them.
“I’ve made sure I’ve been watching Dijksteel every step of the way these last few weeks. We’ve made sure between Chris Short and myself that Dijskteel knows what we need to get him through so hopefully he doesn’t have many more problems.”
The former Cardiff boss has managed to get Middlesbrough firing this season and it looks like a push for the play-offs may be on the cards for the Championship side. If they can keep Dijksteel fit – as well as the rest of their key players – then it will be a huge boost for them in their pursuit of a promotion.
Anfernee Dijksteel is certainly a solid defensive option to have and although Boro have been able to replace him in his absence, it is a welcome sight to have him back in the squad. The player is bright when he plays and they’ll be hoping to keep him fit again for as long as possible.
If he can dodge another injury, he could have a key role to play this season. Neil Warnock then will be desperate to ensure it doesn’t happen.