Jonathan Woodgate fires a warning to Leeds United as Middlesbrough's attacking duo hit form

Jonathan Woodgate has warned Middlesbrough’s upcoming opponents to be wary of attacking duo Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher – having praised the pair after the win over Barnsley.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate
Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate

Fletcher netted the decisive goal in the 1-0 win against the Tykes having also scored against Hull City, while Assombalonga bagged a brace at QPR before the international break.

And Woodgate believes that the pair will be a handful for any defence in the Championship – and is hopeful that their partnership will continue to flourish as Boro prepare to face Leeds United this weekend.

“I look at the positives, that's three unbeaten,” said the Middlesbrough chief.

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“But I was really, really encouraged by that performance against Hull, that performance against QPR, the performance against Huddersfield. A lot of the performances at times have been decent, we just haven't put the ball in the back of the net and we're starting to do that now.

“With them two up front they will cause any Championship defence problems.”

“It's important they make that partnership work,” he continued.

“They are close on the pitch and off the pitch and they are two good lads who really want to work and it showed tonight they are a real, real handful. So that's a big positive for me.”

Woodgate was also quick to lavish praise on young stopper Aynsley Pears after he helped Boro seal a much-needed clean sheet against Barnsley.

And Pears is likely to continue between the sticks in the coming weeks with the Boro chief confirming that Darren Randolph is set for a spell on the sidelines.

“I think Darren will be another three weeks,” admitted Woodgate.

“Of course it's a blow, he's the best keeper in the league.

“But I thought Aynsley did really well, he showed a lot of maturity in his game, especially when he had to see the game through to the end.

“It's another clean sheet for Aynsley so fair play to him because, I tell you what, he works hard and he's got a fantastic mentality.

“Long may that continue.”