Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock hopeful Duncan Watmore has turned corner ahead of Hull City clash
Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock is hoping Duncan Watmore has turned a corner after his goal scoring return to the Boro starting line-up in midweek.
Watmore has been somewhat out in the cold at the Riverside to start the season after Warnock criticised the former Sunderland man’s performances at the beginning of the campaign – challenging the 27-year-old to re-discover the form which earned him the Championship player of the month award in December last year.
And Watmore looked to have answered his manager’s call on Tuesday giving Boro the lead against Sheffield United with a stunning strike to open his account for the season as Warnock’s side got back to winning ways.
“He’s a gem of a lad,” said Warnock.
“Not just as a player but as a person he’s incredibly humble.
“But he hasn’t had a good start to the season and he knows that. He never deserved his place [in the team].
“It’s only been the last two weeks in training he’s really come back to how he was last year. When he’s like that in training you have to pick him, it’s as simple as that.
“He knows he’s not been the same – he’s had one or two other little problems as well but hopefully he’s turned the corner and he can build on that now because you’re not going to get a more genuine lad.
“I thought him and Andraz [Sporar] looked quite sharp together.”
Warnock made two changes to his starting XI in that win over the Blades midweek with summer signings James Lea Siliki and Martin Payero among the notable absentees.
And the Boro boss is hoping those not involved in Tuesday’s success were taking note ahead of Boro’s trip to Hull City on Saturday.
“Everybody who wasn’t in the starting XI should have been looking at that,” said Warnock.
“But having said that there were still two or three things we did wrong. I could talk to people like Martin and James and show that these players are making the same mistakes.
“It’s good for the players to have a look at things like that and when we are playing well to see the difference.”