Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has suggested that Martin Payero is beginning to get up to speed with what he is demanding from the midfielder now after working hard in training.
It has been a tough baptism of fire for Payero in terms of his introduction to English football and life at Middlesbrough following his summer arrival.
The midfielder has made just one start for Boro so far and that came in their 3-0 defeat away to Blackpool in the League Cup.
Warnock has limited him to just two appearances from the bench in the Championship against Bristol City and QPR. That has seen the midfielder manage to average just 17 minutes per appearance in the Championship so fat his term.
However, given he has moved to England from Argentina this summer, it was always going to be a difficult task for him to settle in straight away especially under a manager as demanding as Warnock.
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Speaking to Teesside Live, Warnock did reveal that he is seeing the right signs with Payero and suggested that he is starting to understand the work rate that will be required of him out of possession at the Riverside Stadium.
He said: “He’s getting up to pace.
“The pace of the Championship is the most difficult league in the world regarding the physical aspect and when you come from a different environment, it’s such a shock to the system.
“You can’t just play when you’ve got the ball in the Championship. You’ve got to play when you haven’t got the ball and I think that’s the biggest learning curve for Martin.
“It will be for James [Lea Siliki] and Andraz [Sporar] too because there’s no other league like it.
“But when you’ve got the attitude to do it, for example, in training the other day Martin covered more ground in one particular morning than anybody else at the club. I got the lads to give him a round of applause.
“He realises that you’ve got to work hard at that level so I think the penny has dropped now and there’s no doubt about his ability.”
This is a very difficult start to life at Middlesbrough for Payero and he would have been potentially feeling he has a long way to go to force his way into Warnock’s plans in the first month of the season.
However, these comments would suggest that the midfielder is taking on board what Warnock and the rest of the squad are asking of him in training and he is starting to improve in terms of his work rate.
If Warnock can get Payero working as hard as the rest of the squad then Middlesbrough should be able to see the midfielder out on the field and influencing games with his quality in possession.
It will be interesting to see the impact that the other three new signings of Onel Hernandez, Andraz Sporar and James Lea Siliki can have on getting the best out of Payero on the field when he is able to convince Warnock to select him.
A fully fit and motivated Payero would be a major asset to bring into the team at the moment and alongside the three other signings, Boro would have a lot more tools to hurt their opponents.