Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock explains Britt Assombalonga call and when Patrick Roberts decision will be made ahead of Birmingham clash

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Neil Warnock says Middlesbrough captain Britt Assombalonga has accepted his role in recent weeks after dropping out of the side’s starting XI.

Assombalonga has started just two of Boro’s last five games and came off the bench in the Teessiders’ recent wins against Millwall and Luton.

Warnock named the same side for those two matches as Duncan Watmore and Chuba Akpom linked up well and scored three goals between them.

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When asked by the Mail about Assombalonga’s response, Warnock replied: “He’s accepted it.

Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga.Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga.
Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga.

"When Duncan and Chuba did so well against Millwall it was obvious to keep the same team and I thought Britt looked quite sharp when he came on if I’m honest. I thought he helped us when he was on his own up there with the 10 men (against Luton).

“He’s been no problem at all for me, it’s a good job we’ve got him, we’ve only got two.”

In Boro’s last two matches Watmore, who has scored four goals in five starts for the Teessiders, has switched positions with Marcus Tavernier to play on the right flank.

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“I don’t think either Chuba or Britt could do what I asked Duncan to do,” added Warnock. “He had to drop on a midfield player and then go wide.

“He scored his goal playing in a 4-3-3 really when he was wide right and his contribution for the goal was fabulous, I’ve only just seen it again this morning.”

Warnock has said that Watmore will be offered a new contract at Boro after signing a short-term deal until the middle of January.

The Boro boss said on Friday that conversations have taken place and hopes an agreement can be reached soon.

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Warnock was also asked about Patrick Roberts’ situation after admitting earlier this week the playmaker could return to parent club Manchester City in January.

Roberts impressed while on loan at the Riverside last season but has made just three starts since returning for a second spell.

"We said we would have a chat after the Rotherham game and see more then so I’ll probably have more after that,” said Warnock when asked about Roberts.

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