Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate drops key selection hint regarding Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga following Brentford defeat

Jonathan Woodgate is in no rush to thrust Britt Assombalonga back into the Middlesbrough starting line-up despite the striker being ‘ready to start’ following a seven-week injury lay-off.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Middlesbrough's Britt Assombalonga. Picture Tony Johnson

The 27-year-old striker has came off the bench in each of Boro’s last two Championship games against Blackburn Rovers and Brentford respectively.

He missed the previous 11 matches in all competitions due to a troublesome ankle injury. But during that time, fellow forward Ashley Fletcher has stepped up to the plate with six goals in his last 10 starts.

It’s a run of form that has impressed Woodgate as he ponders his next team selection.

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“Ashley Fletcher has done really well,” he admitted. “I can't leave Fletch out just because Britt is back – they are both very good players. Fletcher has taken his opportunity.

"Britt's just got back from injury, he's only trained for two weeks, he's been coming off the bench. Let's see the next game – he's ready to start.”

Boro will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Brentford when they travel to Wigan Athletic on Tuesday evening. The Latics currently sit in the final relegation spot with Boro seven points ahead of them in the table.

“[Saturday’s defeat] was our second loss in 10, one was against Fulham and one was against Brentford, two teams challenging for promotion,” Woodgate added.

“The performances have been there. As long as we continue the performances we will get results. It's not a concern, the wins will come.”