Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has suggested that Martin Payero could take a few months before he is ready to come into Boro’s starting line-up on a consistent basis.
Payero was brought into the Riverside Stadium this summer to bring something different to the table and provide more technical qualities to Boro’s midfield.
However, so far Payero has only been able to make two substitute appearances for Middlesbrough in the Championship in their opening four league matches.
Although the midfielder did manage to make his first start for the club in their defeat at Blackpool in the League Cup.
Warnock decided to leave the midfielder on the bench during Middlesbrough’s goalless draw at Derby County on Saturday. That comes despite Boro perhaps lacking a creative presence in the middle of the park that could have unlocked the Rams’ defence in the closing stages of the games.
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Speaking to the Northern Echo, Warnock revealed that Payero is not yet ready to come into the side in the Championship and perform to his best.
He admitted that the midfielder could take a few months before he has fully adapted to life in the Championship and could be ready to start.
He said: “That I don’t know. The physicality of the game. New country and new culture, language. I was talking to Steve (Gibson) the other day and I said to him ‘it might take a couple of months’. He said to me straight away ‘well it took Juninho three months’.
“He didn’t even look a player for three months and then all of a sudden it triggered. So I wouldn’t mind him doing the same as him in three months time!
“You can see when he’s training or when he’s in the games, he beats himself up at times because he knows that he should be a little bit quicker but that will come that.
“I’ve just said not to expect too much of himself for a few months and just try and try and enjoy the training and getting fitter and sharper to what’s required. It will just click in the next few months.”
Given Payero has only just arrived in English football it was always going to be difficult for him to make an immediate impact in the Championship for Boro this season.
However, Middlesbrough could do with the midfielder’s technical qualities and ability to perhaps break down opponents with his quality distribution.
Therefore it is a shame that they might have to wait for a few months before they can fully rely on him to come into the side and make a major difference for them.
Warnock is not the type of manager that will risk throwing players into his side if he feels that they are not ready to make an impact for Middlesbrough.
Therefore, it is no surprise to see him take caution over Payero even if that is frustrating for Boro’s supporters.
It will be interesting to see how many chances Payero gets over the next few weeks, but Middlesbrough will be hoping that he can continue to adapt and make an impact for Boro during the second half of the campaign.