Middlesbrough are preparing for a must-win clash with Bournemouth on Good Friday.
The Teessiders have enjoyed a season of real improvement under Neil Warnock but with results being inconsistent since the turn of the year in has left any hopes of pushing for the play-offs hanging by a thread.
Going in to the Easter weekend Warnock’s side are sitting in ninth position and six points away from the top six – meaning that there’s significant work to do if they’re to put themselves back in contention.
With Bournemouth also in the chasing pack for a play-off spot it means that Friday’s match takes on real significance with Middlesbrough potentially being ruled out of the hunt with anything less than a victory.
With that in mind here are some of the dilemmas facing Neil Warnock.
With so much at stake it’ll be interesting to see how Neil Warnock approaches this one.
Bournemouth are renowned for their attacking play and so Middlesbrough will need to manage the game effectively if they’re to avoid being played off the park.
However with three points a must it means that the Teessiders will need to take some risks.
Last time out against Millwall Neil Warnock was less than impressed with how his side tackled the game, and so it’ll be interesting to see if the likes of Neeskens Kebano, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Duncan Watmore come back into the side to add a more proactive approach.
If so, that could see the likes of Djed Spence and Marvin Johnson drop out of the side.
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With goals in short supply it’s no surprise that this is a key decision for Neil Warnock.
Chuba Akpom has led the line lately, however that has been down to circumstance rather than his own impressive form.
Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga face uncertain futures with their contracts due to expire in the summer, and so a decision will need to be made regarding whether the duo are in the right head space to take on such an important game.
If not it means that Middlesbrough are a bit stuck.
Akpom would be the automatic choice, however with the likes of Duncan Watmore, Yannick Bolasie and even young Josh Coburn emerging as contenders to play it’ll be interesting to see what Warnock decides.