George Saville discusses why Middlesbrough's senior players must step-up this season
George Saville was the hero as Middlesbrough claimed a crucial victory against Charlton Athletic.
The midfielder’s goal secured a second win in the last three league outings for Jonathan Woodgate’s men, and saw them rise to 19th in the Championship table – four points clear of strugglers Wigan Athletic.
It was a much needed home win, with this reflected in the midfielder’s comments after the match.
“They’re the big games against the sides in and around you,” he said.
“You know what this league can do - with a couple of wins, you can climb up that league table quick.
“We’re good enough to climb up that league without anyone’s help.”
It was a dream return for Saville who had faced a three week lay-off following his straight red card in the defeat at Derby County.
However, he said that he used that sending off as added motivation.
“The red card was obviously really hard to take on a personal level.
“You feel like you’ve let the side down, so when you do come back from suspension you’re even more determined”.
Saville’s winner wasn’t the only plus point from Saturday’s win. The performance of youngster Djed Spence caught the eye, and Saville felt that this was a key component in getting the result.
“He’s stepped in and shown some courage. Especially in that first half, I felt as if he gave the whole team a real lift”.
Spence is just another in a long line of young players to feature for Boro this campaign with many wondering whether this is proving to be a hindrance, but Saville feels it is up to the senior players to make it work.
“We’ve got Jonny, Randz, Ayala and Clayts, but you need the players who are 24 ,25 or 26 to step up”.
The string of positive results has started to repair the damage caused by Boro’s woeful start to the season and Saville believes the team are now on the right track.
“We’re working for the gaffer, the gaffer is working hard, we’re all working hard.
“It’s no one’s fault, we are pulling in the right direction”.