Three Middlesbrough youngsters who will have impressed Jonathan Woodgate in Newcastle draw

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate watched the club’s under-23 side at Newcastle on Monday night – but what will he have made of the performance?

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 5:00 pm
Defender Nathan Dale has been a regular for Middlesbrough's under-23 side this season.

First-team trio Marcus Browne, Marc Bola and Anfernee Dijksteel all featured for the Teessiders, while others have also been included in the senior matchday squad this season.

Following the 2-2 draw at Whitley Park, we’ve picked out three academy players who impressed and could be promoted to the senior set-up.

Stephen Walker – The young striker, 19, has been in the Boro matchday squad this season and made his Championship debut at Blackburn in August.

Following the Teessiders’ goalscoring troubles this season, many have called for Walker to get a chance in the first team – but is he ready?

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It’s a big step up of course, and there are still doubts whether the teenager could lead the line in a struggling Boro side.

Even so, Walker once again showed his potential in the draw against the Magpies, adding to his goal tally with a composed finish before half-time.

Despite a drop off in the second half, the striker continued to try and press from the front.

Nathan Dale – Boro’s youngsters operated with a back three for the first time this season, just like the first team have done in recent weeks.

Alongside Nathan Wood and Nick Hood, Dale, 20, looked the most comfortable on the ball in the Teessiders’ backline and produced a couple of excellent forward passes out to the flanks.

Boro were short of options at centre-back following an injury to Ryan Shotton at the weekend and may need some of their younger players to step up.

Ben Liddle – It’s now seven goals in seven games for the box-to-box midfielder, who arrived late in the box to convert Bola’s low cross.

The 21-year-old has been on the first-team’s bench in the last few weeks but is still yet to make a senior appearance.

Liddle showed a willingness to get forward with a couple of probing runs in the first half and also snapped into challenges in the engine room.