Neil Warnock explains Sol Bamba and Jamie Paterson situations after ex-Cardiff and Bristol City men feature for Middlesbrough
Neil Warnock has hinted Sol Bamba may be offered the chance to stay at Middlesbrough following a first-team appearance at York in a pre-season friendly.
The 36-year-old announced he was cancer free earlier this year following a battle with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer, and has been training with Boro to build up his fitness in recent weeks.
Bamba played under Warnock at Leeds and Cardiff, and was the Bluebirds’ captain when they won promotion from the Championship in 2018.
The centre-back played for Boro’s under-23 side against Redcar while the first-team squad were in Cornwall earlier this month, while academy manager Craig Liddle has praised the defender’s influence.
Bamba was then handed a 26-minute cameo as he came off the bench against York for the senior side.
“He just wants to get fit so I've just said come and get fit,” said Warnock when asked about Bamba after the game.
“He's really enjoyed it with the 23s, he was really good to have around the youngsters, they learn so much from him.
“Craig Liddle said to me it was amazing listening to him with the young lads last week when we were in Cornwall. That's how he is.”
Warnock wouldn’t be drawn on whether Bamba would be offered a contract at Boro, but admitted he is short of cover in defence.
“He enjoys his football and that's the way he's always been,” Warnock added.
“I’m sure he'll get a contract somewhere with the fitness he's shown. I asked him if he wanted half an hour and he said he'd love to.
“He knows I'll look after him, he's been great for me over the years.
“You only have to look at the size of our squad, we are really small.”
Former Bristol City forward Jamie Paterson has also been training with Boro on trial and played 45 minutes at York, before being replaced by Isaiah Jones at half-time.
“He asked to come in and we wanted to look at him in certain areas,” said Warnock when asked about Paterson.
“But really I wanted to get Isaiah on in the second half to give us a bit more pace going forward.
“I wanted the other lads to get the minutes in.
“He's done well, he'll probably be involved on Friday as well.”