Tony Pulis expresses hope for on-loan striker Jordan Hugill
The Middlesbrough manager is confident that Hugill has what it takes to spearhead the team’s push for promotion to the Premier League.
Having not scored a League goal for Boro since his on-loan move from West Ham last summer, Jordan Hugill scored two goals in space of six minutes on Saturday against a hapless Wigan Athletic side.
Speaking after the game, Pulis recognised that the absence of goals means that the 24-year-old had a difficult few months at the Teesside – but expressed hope that he can now kick on.
"I was really pleased that Jordan got the two goals," said a visibly happy Pulis after the game.
In addition to expressing his pleasure, Pulis also explained what he thought was the reason behind the early-season poor form of his striker.
"What people have missed, and I’ve said it before, is that the lad went from Preston to West Ham and was never involved in any football at all in the Premier League."
"Then in pre-season, he got an injury, so he hasn’t really done anything for six months."
Boro took the lead against Wigan in the 38th minute after George Friend was brought down inside Wigan’s penalty area by Cedric Kipre, with Hugill burying the subsequent penalty.
Six minutes later, it was 2-0 for the home side. Hugill was once again the goal scorer as he deflected a delicious cross from midfielder Braithwaite behind the hapless Wigan goalkeeper.
Apart from expressing his faith in Hugill’s abilities, Pulis also indicated his pleasure with the striker’s decision to take the penalty in a high-pressure situation.
"Getting the two goals can only help, and to be fair to him, he didn’t want anyone else to take that penalty. "
"He was really keen to take it, which is brilliant."
"The great thing about him is that he’s got that little bit of steel about him. He’s a local lad, and he’s desperate to do well for this football club."
As a result of his goals, Boro were lifted back into the automatic promotion positions, just two points behind league leaders Norwich City.
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Leeds, who came into last weekend as the table toppers, moved down to the 3rd spot after a defeat at the hands of 5th placed West Brom, with just 3 points now separating the top four sides.