Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough managed to keep the pressure up on Championship leaders Derby last night with a 1-0 win against Bolton, courtesy of a goal from Albert Adomah.
The assist was provided by the boot of Lee Tomlin, who is arguably the most important midfielder at the club.
He’s been in good form in recent weeks as his side have risen towards the top of the Championship, now dealing with the very realistic possibility of an automatic promotion spot into the Premier League being secured for next season.
His basic stats for Championship games have been decent, with six goals and four assists from 21 starts.
His manager will want him to try and get into double figures in terms of goals scored as quickly as possible, while increasing that assists tally if he can’t convert from open play or set pieces himself.
Tomlin’s main challenge is going to be finding ways to stay effective in the Middlesbrough midfield.
He’s a target for opposition sides because he’s so effective and every team that comes up against Middlesbrough over the next few weeks will have ideas and plans over how to keep him quiet and out of big games.
Sides could look to bully him physically, sides could look to contain him in terms of space and sides could look to man mark him to keep him out of games.
If he can stay effective against all of those tactics, he can be the player through which Middlesbrough funnel their attacking play and the man who could set up a strong finish to the season for the club.
Bolton were unsuccessful in keeping him quiet and he showed with one piece of skill how he can turn a game on its head and create a chance for a teammate.
Here’s what Middlesbrough fans had to say about Tomlin’s performance on Twitter.
- @Leetomlin10 Mate. That ball for Alberts goal Better than when you mashed up Kompany imo. World class that was— boroborn1983 (@boroborn1983) February 25, 2015
@Leetomlin10 more than a few similarities to a certain Paul Gascoigne with passes 16000 people couldn't even read different gravy UTB— michael taylor (@mickyt1979) February 25, 2015