'He has massive potential’: Darlington boss Alun Armstrong. praises young striker after Middlesbrough recall

Young Middlesbrough striker Tyrone O'Neill is a player with ‘massive potential’ but faces a big step up after being recalled from Darlington. Those are the thoughts of Darlo boss Alun Armstrong.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 5:32 pm
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 8:32 am
Tyrone O'Neill played for Hartlepool on loan last season.

O’Neill, 20, scored seven goals in 17 appearances for The Quakers but has returned to Boro due to the Teessiders’ lack of forward options.

“I thought they were going to call him back in January but Woody wanted him back now,” Armstrong, who has also coached at Boro, told the Mail. ”It’s a massive blow for us because of the way we’ve been playing the last 11 games.

“I’m just chuffed to bits for the kid, I’ve known him since he was 13, worked with him for three years at Boro and to see his development in the last three years has been fantastic.

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“I just hope he gets the opportunity to show people what he’s capable of.”

Even so, the jump from England’s sixth tier to the Championship is a big leap, especially if O’Neill is drafted into a Boro side which is low on confidence.

“It’s difficult because it’s a big step up from the National League North to the Championship,” adds Armstrong. “To go into a team which is not full of confidence as a young kid is really tough.

“People have got to be patient with him, you can’t expect him to come in and do what he’s done for us because it’s a totally different level but the kid has got massive potential and he’s given everything for us.

“Sometimes you just need an opportunity when the time comes and as a player you have to grasp it.”

So what are O’Neill’s main qualities and what can Boro fans expect from the striker?

“He’s very unconventional,” adds Armstrong. “He’s very skinny wiry but he gives as good as he’s got, he’s quite strong for the size of him.

“He’ll back in, he’ll hold the ball up but he’s got unbelievable quick feet for such a big lad, he can tie people in knots at times.

“The biggest problem with Tyrone is probably his lack of pace but he’s got the other things to outweigh that.”