Middlesbrough FC news: Ryan Shotton opens up on left-back struggles plus Darren Randolph's international disappointment

Middlesbrough defender Ryan Shotton has opened up on the challenges he’s faced after switching to left-back in recent weeks.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 9:00 am
Ryan Shotton has started at left-back in Middlesbrough's last two league fixtures.

The towering 30-year-old has openly admitted he prefers playing at centre-back, a position he’s occupied for most of the campaign under new Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate.

But, after Boro’s shocking first-half display against Sheffield Wednesday last month, Shotton was moved to an unfamiliar left-back role, where he was also used in the following league games against Preston and Birmingham.

When asked about his positional change during an in-depth interview with BBC Tees Sport, Shotton said: “We came in at half-time, we’re 4-1 down to Sheffield Wednesday and the manager came to me and went right, ‘just do me a job at left-back’ and I went ‘not a problem’, nothing else in my head I said I’ll do what I can.

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“Coming to the next game he asked me to do it again, I thought right, this is completely different to coming in at 45 minutes, your adrenaline is running at half-time, you run around, get on the ball, do what you can.

“To start that position was a completely different scenario and that’s when I found it difficult because I’d never played there, I’d never started a game at left-back.

“It’s all about your angles, at centre-half you can see everything, at right-back you have that angle of one side but to be on that opposite side, it was like writing with my left hand.”

International latest – Some late heroics from Boro goalkeeper Darren Randolph weren’t enough to rescue a point for the Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland on Tuesday night.

Mick McCarthy’s side lost 2-0 in Geneva despite Randoplh saving a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty in the 77th minute.

A first-half strike from Haris Seferovic and stoppage-time own goal from Shane Duffy means the Republic will have to wait until November for another chance to qualify for next summer’s tournament.

Randolph told Sky Sports after the game: “Them scoring with the last kick of the game made it that bit tougher but they are a tough team.

“We have another chance to go out and get the win at home next month."