Marcus Bettinelli delivers verdict on new Middlesbrough team-mates after Fulham switch and debut at Watford

Marcus Bettinelli knows what it takes to win promotion from the Championship – a feat he’s looking to repeat with Middlesbrough.
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The 28-year-old goalkeeper helped Fulham reach the Premier League in 2018 but hadn’t played a competitive game for more than ten months after falling down the pecking order at Craven Cottage.

Yet Bettinelli, who joined Boro on a season-long loan deal earlier this week, showed a glimpse of his qualities during his Boro debut in a 1-0 defeat at Watford on Friday night.

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Inside a mostly-empty stadium, Bettinelli could be heard encouraging his team-mates, instructing his side to press and keeping his defenders in check throughout the match at Vicarage Road.

Marcus Bettinelli has joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal from Fulham.Marcus Bettinelli has joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal from Fulham.
Marcus Bettinelli has joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal from Fulham.

Watford defender Craig Cathcart scored the only goal of the game after 11 minutes, yet Bettinelli, who made a couple of routine saves later in the match, was encouraged by his new side’s performance.

“We nullified a lot of the way Watford play,” Bettinelli told BBC Tees Sport.

“It was disappointing to concede from a corner, we work on that and pride ourselves on that - you shouldn’t get beaten by a set play.

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“Unfortunately we have, it’s a learning curve from that point of view.

“But the effort from the boys was outstanding. I don’t think anyone needs me to tell them we deserved minimum a draw out of the game, if not more.

“Personally, it was nice to get my debut - I would have liked to get the win but we move on.”

When asked about his aspirations at Boro, the keeper added: “I didn’t come here because I thought we’d be a standard mid-table team.

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"I want to get another promotion, the gaffer wants another promotion and the boys in that changing room you can see they want it as well. I think we all know we have the quality to create and score goals and defend as well.

“Watford are regarded as one of the best in this league, their squad is steaming in pedigree and Premier League experience, and we’ve come here tonight and given a great account of ourselves. On another day it could have been all three points.”

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