Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis reveals why he chose Marcus Tavernier over Martin Braithwaite following Brentford win

Tony Pulis praised Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier after the youngster's impressive performance at Brentford.

Sunday, 25th November 2018, 10:17 am
Updated Sunday, 25th November 2018, 10:20 am
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.

Tavernier scored Boro's second goal in the 2-1 win at Griffin Park, which moved the Teessiders back up to second in the Championship.

Boro took the lead through Jordan Hugill in the 56th minute before Tavernier doubled the visitor's lead with a header five minutes later.

Pulis started the talented teenager ahead of first-team regular Martin Braithwaite, who represented Denmark during the recent international break, and it was a decision which was vindicated.

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"I thought Tav did really well," said Pulis after the game.

"He's 19-year-old, just coming in, I decided earlier in the week he was going to play but didn't tell him until he got back on Thursday from the England Under-20s. It was Wednesday actually I think I told him in the gym.

"I left Martin out because of that - his (Tavernier's) legs, his pace - and he wants to run and run forward. His goal, it's a great ball in from Dael (Fry)."

Pulis was also impressed with his lone front man Hugill, who has now scored in back-to-back league games.

"He was a handful again tonight, a real handful," said Pulis of the striker.

"That's what we want. We want people to get round him, get it wide and get it in the box. He'll create chances for himself."

Boro saw little of the ball throughout the contest and recorded just 31 per cent possession in total.

However, in a cagey first half, the visitors arguably created the better chances, as Aden Flint headed wide from a corner and Hugill shot straight at goalkeeper Daniel Bentley, when the striker had a clear sight at goal.

"It's ever an easy place to come, Brentford are a good team, they move the ball around.," added Pulis.

"I thought the lads worked really hard.

"You can criticise our finishing again: Flinty's (Aden Flint) chance in the first half, he should be hitting the target, Jordan goes through and we had two or three other opportunities we never turned into chances or goals."

Brentford set up a grandstand finish as Alan Judge pulled one back with a stinging strike 15 minutes from time.

Boro also had chances to kill the game off but managed to hold on to take the points.

"In the second half Wingy (Lewis Wing) missed a good chance and Jordan missed another, he should have put his laces through it and why he's waited I don't know.

"You have to give Brentford real credit, they had a right go in the second half. I know they've got nothing to lose at that point I'm really pleased with three points."