Pulis admits that he doesn’t see Dael Fry playing in the right-back position for long
Though the Middlesbrough manager has claimed that the England U-21 defender would benefit from a run of games in the same position.
Tony Pulis has admitted that despite starting Dael Fry in the right-back role in last 2 games, he doesn’t think that Fry would permanently feature in that role.
Having made his name as a centre-back, Fry has been shifted to the right side of defence in Boro's last 2 games against Stoke City and Wigan Athletic.
While it isn’t his natural position, Fry has impressed fans with his performance in the new role. His performance against Wigan was especially notable, with the defender delivering a number of dangerous crosses throughout the 90 minutes.
When asked which position he thinks suits the defender better, Tony Pulis was candid in admitting that the defender would return to his preferred position of centre-back.
"I don’t see him as a right-back, but four or five of his crosses were absolute top drawer, and then when he’s called upon to defend, he does the job," said Pulis, who is putting his team through their paces at the RAF Leeming training camp during the international break.
"You watch him train, and he can play anywhere. He’s a top, top player, and playing right-back won’t do him any harm at the moment."
Although Fry was due to be part of the England U-21 side during the International break, he has now withdrawn from the squad for the National team’s matches against Italy and Denmark.
While he has come back to the Teesside, Fry doesn’t have any major injury problems, which means he should be available for selection when Boro travel to Brentford next Saturday.
Pulis Praises Batth
Apart from fielding Fry in a new role, Pulis has also named defender Danny Batth in the starting XI in each of Boro’s last two games, despite the fact that Daniel Ayala was available last weekend.
Before his suspension, Ayala was an integral part of the Middlesbrough team that kept 7 clean sheets with him in the starting XI.
So, the fact that Pulis didn’t select him last weekend shows how highly the manager rates Batth.
"I think big Batthy deserved the chance to continue the way he’s played,” said Pulis. "And he played well again (against Wigan). I was pleased. We chased the game a little bit at times and got caught two-on-two at the back, but the big fella (Aden Flint) alongside Danny was brilliant as well."