Ashley Fletcher reveals how Robbie Keane helped kick-start his run of form at Middlesbrough
Ashley Fletcher has revealed how Middlesbrough assistant boss Robbie Keane helped spark his positive run of form.
Fletcher has been a regular under Jonathan Woodgate, with the former Manchester United youngster tasked with leading the line alongside Britt Assombalonga.
The 24-year-old has hit something of a purple patch in recent weeks after netting twice in his last four outings, and has now revealed how a pep talk from former striker Keane helped to turn the tide.
He and Woodgate were keen to put an arm around the young striker after a crucial miss against Huddersfield Town in October, which saw Boro drop points in a game in which they could have won.
A pick-up was just what Fletcher needed – and he hasn’t looked back since, putting together a strong run as Boro look to move away from relegation danger.
“That's down to Robbie,” said Fletcher of bouncing back.
“He's been there and done it, he's missed chances.
“I remember straight after the Huddersfield game I went into the manager's office straight afterwards and I was distraught because I felt personally responsible for costing the team three points and him (Woodgate) and Robbie put their arms around me and said, 'Listen, every striker misses chances, you'll miss a hundred more of them in your career, don't worry about it, it's all about the next one.”
Keane has also been a strong advocate of Fletcher’s partnership with Assombalonga, with the strike duo starting to formulate a strong relationship which has transcended beyond the field back onto the training ground and away from the pitch.
“I said it last week, we have a really good relationship on and off the field which is what Robbie's always said strikers should do,” added Fletcher.
“If you know each other inside out that can only benefit you.
“I enjoy playing with him, we train together every day we have good banter – it's about just knowing where each other is and you saw that for the Hull goal the other week.”