Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis was delighted as his side recorded a rampant 5-0 victory against Peterborough in the FA Cup, reserving special praise for an outcast who stepped up to the plate.
Britt Assombalonga starred with a brace and a Lewis Wing goal was perhaps the pick of the bunch, but when Ashley Fletcher bagged a late strike it clearly pleased his boss. He’s been the subject of interest from other clubs, but kept his composure to put gloss on the win.
Fletcher has been on the edges of the Boro first team this season, scoring three times in their EFL Cup run but not bagging a Championship goal as yet. His 87th minute strike took his tally to four in 12 matches and Pulis was pleased for the former West Ham man.
“I thought Fletcher played well in the first half too,” he told the Teesside Gazette. “There were one or two who didn’t do as well in the first half, and got better in the second half, but I thought Fletch was one of our better players in the first half as well. I’m really pleased with him.”
With Hull City definitely interested in taking him to the KCOM Stadium, Pulis was asked about the future but remained coy over his intentions for the 23-year old.
“He’s just played a game for us and hopefully that will give him the confidence to move on,” he said. “There’s not just Hull that are interested, there are one or two other clubs as well.”
A move to Hull would be quality for Fletcher, they’d build their attack around him and he’d work without the pressure of being a big money signing. Last season at Sunderland he had the weight of 32,000 fans on his shoulders, but Hull are in a decent place and he’s surely thrive there.
It’s odds on he’ll be gone by February, yesterday put him in the shop window and to his credit, he took the chance with both hands.
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