Middlesbrough haven’t been enjoying a dazzling run of form in the Championship, with their latest outing ending in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Norwich City on Saturday at the Carrow Road. The Riversiders are currently placed at the 9th spot in the league table with 45 points to their name from 30 games.
They are trailing 6th placed (last place for playoffs) Bristol City by 6 points and it is high time for some of their players to step up and produce quality performances on a consistent basis to make a push for promotion to the Premier League. Here are three Middlesbrough players who should make better use of their chances.
Ben Gibson was rock-solid and an inspirational figure for the Smoggies last season and was unarguably one of the best players for them. However, the centre-back has produced subpar performances for a major chunk of the ongoing campaign and owing to the calibre he possesses, a lot more is expected from him. He has appeared nervy at times and looks bereft of confidence.
The 25-year-old has played every Championship game this season and has mustered 0.7 tackles, 1 interception and 0.5 blocks per game on an average, which isn’t really appealing. Gibson needs to work harder and try and get back to his best to set an example.
Patrick Bamford has been used in a number of positions in the attacking half but has hardly made his presence felt. He hasn’t been able to engineer a strong grip this season and his attacking tooth has been quite blunt. The 24-year-old has the potential but it is high time for him to make full use of it.
Bamford has scored just 1 goal from 24 games he has played in the English second division and is yet to register an assist. His work ethic has been questioned plenty of times and he needs to put in the hard yards with the business end of the season approaching.
Signed from the ranks of the Canaries in the summer, a lot was expected from Jonny Howson at the onset. However, the central midfielder hasn’t been at his best, especially with his passing turning out to be a big let down and most of the time, he has failed to impose a commanding presence in the middle of the park.
Tony Pulis definitely needs to have a word with Howson and considering that he is one of the senior members of the squad, he must fare in a better manner.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored