Tony Pulis admits Middlesbrough's Adam Clayton could be left disappointed ahead of Forest visit

Boro manager Tony Pulis during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final First Leg match between Middlesbrough and Aston Villa at Riverside Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Middlesbrough,...

Middlesbrough face Nottingham Forest at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Tony Pulis Head Coach

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has told reporters how he has a selection headache ahead of the visit of Nottingham Forest with three midfielders vying for two spots, the Gazzette report.

“He’s been fantastic, Clayts. I think his performances this year (have been good), especially at Leeds, I thought he was exceptional at Leeds,” Pulis said.

“But Saville’s come in and done really well, Mo scored (at Ipswich), so it’s a problem for me now but they are good problems.

“It’s nice to have that competition and I’m sure, irrespective of what team I pick tomorrow, whether Adam’s delighted with me bringing him back or disappointed because I haven’t, we’ll have to wait and see.”


Boro generally play with two holding midfielders with four attacking players ahead of them, but George Saville’s arrival from Millwall means the Teesside club now have several options in midfield.

Grant Leadbitter, Paddy McNair, Muhamed Besic and Adam Clayton are all vying for a spot, giving Pulis both plenty of strength in midfield and a selection headache when all are on top form.

Clayton has been given the nod for the most part his season, starting 10 Championship fixtures, but he was left out of the 2-0 win at Ipswich Town in midweek and Besic in his place really stood out.

Adam Clayton of Middlesbrough during the Emirates FA Cup fifth round at Riverside Stadium on February 18, 2017 in Middlesbrough, England.

Upcoming league opponents Forest will line up similar to Boro, matching them in midfield, therefore Pulis must strike the right balance and look to block the supply to Forest’s creative players such as Joao Carvalho.

While Clayton is an experienced leader-type figure, he could be the one to sit out again as both Saville and Besic are younger and perhaps have that speed to press off the ball as Forest will seek to dominate possession.

Adam Clayton of Middlesbrough is put under pressure from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Southampton at Riverside Stadium on...

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