ON-LOAN Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah believes Middlesbrough are good enough to make the playoffs ahead of tonight’s vital home game with Wigan Athletic.
Chalobah arrived on loan from Chelsea after playing the first half of the season at Nottingham Forest, where he made 12 appearances and scored twice.
“We’ve got a very good team,” said the 19-year-old who came on as a sub in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at leaders Leicester City.
“If you compare us to Leicester in the table there is a big difference.
“But if you look at the quality in the squad there isn’t much difference.
“I think we have a good enough team to kick on, make the playoffs and get promoted.”
Chalobah (pictured) is comfortable in midfield or defence after playing in both positions for Watford last season.
He said he is prepared to play anywhere for the manager.
“It’s about doing well for the team,” he said in a interview with BBC Tees.
“If the manager wants me to play centre-half, I’ll play centre-half.
“If he wants me to play midfield, I’ll play midfield.
“I got back to Chelsea from Forest, met with Jose Mourinho and he told me I was coming here.
“I was really happy with it as I’m suited to the style at Middlesbrough.”
Boro host 11th-placed Wigan this evening at the Riverside.
The Latics have two games in hand and they have enjoyed a good start under their new manager Uwe Rosler, including a 2-1 FA Cup win over Crystal Palace at the DW Stadium.
Boro are now in 10th, five points off the playoffs after their defeat at the King Power Stadium.
Head coach Aitor Karanka may be prepared to restore Marvin Emnes to the starting XI along with Kei Kamara.
With the transfer window closing this week, Karanka is keen to bring in some new players to strengthen his side.
And reports suggest he could be about to do some business with Lukas Jutkiewicz set to head on loan to Bolton Wanderers, possibly to make way for the arrival of Kevin Doyle, from Wolves and one other player.
Karanka has gone on the record to say that he is in no hurry to lose the striker permanently but thinks Jutkiewicz needs to find some goals and confidence – and that could be away from the Riverside.
The former Coventry City striker has scored just 11 goals in 44 league appearances since his £1.3million move in 2011.
His departure would free up some funds.
“The objective of the club is to strengthen the squad and my aim is to finish the transfer window with a stronger squad than we had before it started,” Karanka said.