Middlesbrough defender is ready to step up with Daniel Ayala set to miss Stoke clash

Middlesbrough defender Danny Batth has featured just once for Middlesbrough in the league this campaign - and even that was a one-minute substitute appearance at Sheffield Wednesday.
Jordan Hugill (left) and Danny Batth (right)Jordan Hugill (left) and Danny Batth (right)
Jordan Hugill (left) and Danny Batth (right)

The 28-year-old centre-back signed for Tony Pulis' side on a season-long loan from Wolves in the summer, but has found himself some way down the pecking order at the Riverside.

Boro have regularly lined up with a back three this campaign, with Aden Flint, Daniel Ayala and Dael Fry making up Boro's rearguard.

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Batth has started just once since his move, in the Carabao Cup win over Preston, but could receive another opportunity when the Teessiders host Crystal Palace in the next round of the competition tomorrow night.

Pulis has rung the changes for the cup games so far this campaign, and Batth is ready to show what he can do.

"I've been patient," the defender. told MFC.com. "Obviously the lads have been doing great so I'm waiting for my chance and making sure I'm ready when it comes along."

"It's an opportunity for everyone who is going to be playing.

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"You work hard everyday in training to put in a good account of yourself."

To add even more significance, Ayala picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Derby on Saturday, meaning the Spaniard will miss this weekend's game at Stoke.

That could open the door for Batth, who believes he's more than ready if called upon.

"The manager brought me in because he knows what I'm about and what I can do," said Batth.

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"It's literally just an opportunity, it's no reflection on anyone who's not playing.

"The team have been doing well in general so myself included have got to be patient and whether it's Wednesday this Saturday you're ready to do well for the team."

Batth believes Palace will be a good test for Boro, and represents a good opportunity to build momentum.

“It’s another game for us and it’s important for the group to do well,” he said.

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“We want to have a winning mentality at the club and I think doing well in the cups only breeds confidence for the league.

“It’s a productive game and with it being at home, it gives the fans a chance to come and see Premier League opposition.”