Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has praised Paddy McNair for the way he has responded to being left out of the team in recent games.
The summer signing, who joined from north east rivals Sunderland, has had just 28 minutes of league action this season and has not featured in the last three Championship fixtures.
However, the experienced boss told Teesside Live that he has been delighted with how the player has trained as he looks to win a place in the team.
“You either pick the baton up and join them or drop off and we want people who are going to pick the baton up and join the race to play in the team and Paddy has certainly done that, he’s been very, very good in training.”
As well as that, the former West Brom boss admitted it’s simply a case of having serious competition for places, with late signings George Saville and Mo Besic adding to Pulis’ midfield options.
“I think that they understand that there’s more competition now. When you get in the team you have to play well to stay in the team and Paddy will wait for his chance, he’ll get his chance.”
Boro take on Swansea at the Riverside this afternoon as they look to maintain their strong start to the campaign.
McNair showed his class in this league with Sunderland last season so there’s clearly a good player in there but as Pulis says, he will have to be patient.
That’s the way it works at good sides now, there is fierce competition for places and you won’t always play.
All the player can do is keep working hard in training as his chance will come in a relentless Championship season.
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