– but oth­ers wait in wings

Sunday Sun - - Football -

tinue to play well and re­main in the start­ing line-up. How­ever the com­pe­ti­tion is hot with fel­low wide play­ers Marvin John­son and Adama Traore both des­per­ate to earn an­other op­por­tu­nity.

John­son was out­stand­ing in his full de­but against Queen’s Park Rangers but has since failed to achieve the same stan­dards, though clearly he’s tal­ented. Traore is an enigma. Early in the sea­son it ap­peared that it would be im­pos­si­ble for Monk to leave him out be­cause of his ex­tra­or­di­nary abil­ity to wreak havoc.

How­ever, Traore re­mains a work in progress. Boro’s coaches are work­ing hard to teach him to re­lease the ball at the right time and also use his passes in­tel­li­gently.

An­other player cur­rently out­side the ac­tion is Chelsea loa­nee Lewis Baker, who played reg­u­lar foot­ball dur­ing his two years on loan with Vitesse in Hol­land, but has been edged out at Boro by the re­turn of Mar­tin Braith­waite.

Over­all, Monk will be de­lighted that he has a se­lec­tion headache of the best kind.

Yet the way in which things are be­gin­ning to shape up sug­gests that most of the play­ers will be pick­ing them­selves. Daniel Ay­ala con­grat­u­lates Ash­ley Fletcher af­ter he scores

Boro vet­eran Ste­wart Down­ing (num­ber 14) has burst back into man­ager Garry Monk’s (left) plans – just months af­ter he was al­most al­lowed to leave the club on a free trans­fer

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