This is why ex-Sunderland player Paddy McNair has a key role to play at Middlesbrough under Jonathan Woodgate

Paddy McNair has been identified as a key player by Jonathan Woodgate, with the versatile international bringing drive and balance to the Middlesbrough midfield.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Paddy McNair in action for Middlesbrough.

McNair has previously played right wing-back for Boro but has returned to his natural central midfield role this season under Woodgate and the Boro boss has been impressed.

Woodgate said: “Paddy’s got that drive from midfield, and it’s important you’ve got that left sider on your left-hand side.

“It brings more balance.

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“You can bring the ball out better and play more passes – if you’ve got a right sider on that side, you’re limited to how many passes you can play.

“George [Friend] also brings us that balance. George is a great character.

“That’s exactly what I want, to only train for three days and then play is magnificent.”

Middlesbrough have a free weekend as a result of the international break, with the Teessiders in a relegation battle, third-bottom in the Championship.