Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate explains Lewis Wing decision after Millwall draw

Given the midfielder’s rapid rise into the first team, it’s easy to forget that this time last year Lewis Wing had made just three Championship starts for Middlesbrough.

Sunday, 25th August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 25th August 2019, 15:18 pm
Middlesbrough midfielder Lewis Wing started on the bench against Millwall

In the space of 12 months, the 24-year-old, who was playing in the ninth tier of English football just over two years ago, has become a key part of Boro’s senior side - something which was highlighted after his exclusion from the starting XI was questioned.

Wing was left on the bench as Boro drew 1-1 with Millwall at the Riverside, after playing the full 90 minutes in each of the Teessiders’ first four league games.

George Saville took Wing’s place in the midfield engine room, as head coach Jonathan Woodgate made one change from the side which beat Wigan 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Wing did come on in the final nine minutes, and when asked about the decision to leave the midfielder out, Woodgate said: “I thought he's looked a little jaded over the last couple of games.

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“Wingy - he had his first big season last season and sometimes the second season is a bit different.

“Players start to work out what you can do and get a bit closer to you but, listen, in my team all my players are fighting for their positions so whoever does well on a Saturday will play, I'm really as honest as that. If they are not doing it for me they won't play.

“Wingy has got a big future for me, he knows what I think of him, they've got to fight for their place.”