Ay­ala earn­ing his place in the side

Sunday Sun - - Football -

DANIEL Ay­ala is the lat­est player to earn him­self a semi-per­ma­nent niche in the Boro line-up. The Span­ish de­fender has suf­fered both from in­juries and loss of form dur­ing the past 12 months. But Ay­ala has bounced back and, while he still has some way to go to reach his peak, he is in­di­cat­ing that he can do a good job again.

In fact if the Ay­ala-Ben Gib­son part­ner­ship can come any­where near to match­ing the duo’s over­all con­tri­bu­tion in the pro­mo­tion sea­son of two years ago, then it could be a key fac­tor in the team’s push for a quick re­turn to the Pre­mier League.

As Ay­ala con­tin­ues to es­tab­lish him­self again, the in­di­ca­tions are that Garry Monk is fi­nally de­vel­op­ing a rea­son­ably set­tled side.

The Boro man­ager has been chop­ping and chang­ing for much of the sea­son and, to be fair, giv­ing ev­ery­body their chance.

But most cur­rent holders of first-team places are now dig­ging in their heels and mak­ing it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble for the man­ager to leave them out.

In some re­spects it’s what Monk would have wanted. Now his job is to keep those play­ers who are cur­rently not in the team happy.

One player we might not have ex­pected to be in the side at this stage is 18-year-old Mar­cus Tav­ernier.

But the Leeds-born at­tacker is in there on merit and has also scored twice in his last four ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing notch­ing the win­ner against Sun­der­land.

Hope­fully Tav­ernier will con-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.