Middlesbrough's George Saville reveals what has changed under Neil Warnock and his thoughts on dropping out of the side
Geogre Saville says Neil Warnock’s experience and man-management skills have played a big part at Middlesbrough this season.
Boro sit ninth in the Championship table, eight points off the play-offs, with 11 games to go but have improved significantly since their last campaign.
After keeping the Teessders up when he was appointed in June, Warnock has managed to help several players, including Saville, raise their games at the Riverside.
The 27-year-old midfielder joined Boro from Millwall in 2018 but struggled to find consistency under former managers Tony Pulis and Jonathan Woodgate.
“This season has probably been my best one,” Saville told Boro fan Yusuf Jama in an interview via the club’s website.
“The first season under Pulis I came in a bit later, it was about six or eight games in so it took me a while to find my feet.
“I was playing different positions under Pulis, I was playing left wing-back, left-back, left mid so I think consistency this year has been the key for me.
“Obviously the gaffer is playing me in a role I enjoy and I’ve done quite well in that role this season.”
Warnock has also helped players such as Marc Bola and Anfernee Dijksteel progress this season, after challenging starts to their Boro careers.
“The gaffer now, his experience has probably helped us massively,” Saville added.
“Obviously being a young squad we haven’t got as many senior pros as we did under Pulis and Woodgate.
“His man-management is clear to see with the likes of Bola, Dijksteel, them players are just different players under him and he’s got us going.
“I’m not saying it wasn’t a happy camp beforehand but you see a good morale around the building here now.
“It’s upbeat, the training is positive and we are in a good place.”
This season Saville has contributed with five goals and four assists in all competitions – meaning he has the joint most goal contributions along with Marvin Johnson at Boro.
The Northern Ireland international has found himself out of the side in recent weeks but is determined to regain his place.
“Any footballer would say that it’s hard to come out of the team, especially when the first part of season was going really well for the club and me personally,” admitted Saville.
“This year has been difficult, we’ve had Saturday-Tuesdays, Saturday-Tuesdays, physically it’s really demanding.
“I think we played the Brentford game at home that we lost and I had a few chances that I should be scoring, especially with the goals I’ve scored this season I’d have fancied myself.
“We then played Derby and I had a poor first half and it kind of just burst my bubble a little bit and just was flat.
“The manager had every reason to take me out of the team, it happens in football. I’ve had a couple of below average performances and then it’s up to me to try and get back in the team.
“The boys won against Huddersfield at home and Reading away so I had no complaints and have just got to keep working.
“Hopefully I can get back in the team and push on again.”