Neil Warnock explains why he chose Duncan Watmore over Ashley Fletcher against Bournemouth and Watford

Neil Warnock praised Duncan Watmore’s tireless work rate when explaining why the forward was chosen to play ahead of Ashley Fletcher.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 4:45 pm

Watmore has operated as a central striker in Boro’s last two games against Bournemouth and Watford despite Warnock admitting his side have lacked a natural centre forward this season.

Fletcher, who finished as the Teessiders’ top scorer last term but has missed most of the campaign through injury, hasn’t started a match since he limped off with an injury against Bristol City in February.

Following Boro’s 1-1 draw with Watford, Warnock was asked by the Mail if he feels Fletcher is fit enough to start games again.

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Middlesbrough forward Duncan Watmore.
Middlesbrough forward Duncan Watmore.

“They are all fit and on the bench but Duncan Watmore is the one who absolutely works his socks off and that’s got to be a minimum requirement for me, especially when you are playing like that,” said the Boro boss.

“If you can’t do that then you are going to be on the bench whereas Duncan he works his socks off.

“You’ve got to have that in that system. In that system it’s not an easy game to play with one up front.”

Warnock also praised winger Neeskens Kebano who kept tabs on Watford right-back Kiko Femenia at the Riverside.

“I thought Kab did well as well because their kid bombs on the right-back, but I thought he took him both ways and caused problems the other way, and still did his defensive duties,” Warnock added.

“I was quite pleased with everyone really.”

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