How Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher is bouncing back from his Sunderland setback
Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher scored his fifth goal in ten matches while helping the Teessiders record their first win in seven games.
The 23-year-old netted both goals in the first half as Boro beat Bolton 2-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium and ease pressure on manager Tony Pulis.
Fletcher had been left on the bench against Swansea on Saturday afternoon but Pulis was please with the way he bounced back.
"You get criticised for not playing him on Saturday," said Pulis after the Bolton win.
"But he is a young lad who is still growing into his body. People say 'he is a young lad, he can run round the whole time.' This is a different level and you have to play the level to understand it.
"He has got two goals tonight and hopefully he can carry it on. I have been delighted with him. He is a great kid and never dropped his head. He has never been a minute's problem.
Fletcher has now started eight of Boro's last ten games following a difficult start to the season.
The former Manchester United youth player also struggled during a loan spell at Sunderland last season but Pulis believes he's improving all the time.
"Most probably he's been too nice.," said Pulis when asked why Fletcher has found it difficult to break into Boro's first team. "And he is still too nice a footballer.
"He gets brushed off a little too easy but that will come. Another two goals will do him a world of good."
Reflecting on the victory over the Trotters, who remain eight points from safety in the Championship, Pulis added: "I am just pleased for the players,
"We have had a run of seven games without winning but I don't think they were six games we deserved to lose.
"Four of those games we could easily have won. And if we didn't win them, then we should have picked points up.
"Tonight though they got their just rewards because they took two of the numerous chances we again created.
"It's the same old story. We have got to be more clinical but we got two goals and a clean sheet so I am delighted."