Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has revealed his doubts about the future of striker Ashley Fletcher at the club, admitting that he doesn’t know whether he’d still be at Boro by the end of January transfer window.
Fletcher was on the scoresheet on Saturday as he scored the last of Boro’s 5 goals in a thumping win over Peterborough United in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, hasn’t had much game time under Pulis, appearing just 6 times in the Championship this season.
After the departure of Martin Braithwaite earlier this month, as he joined Spanish side Leganes on a six-month loan, many Boro fans were expecting Fletcher to be given the chance.
However, as Pulis revealed on Saturday, the uncertainty surrounding the future of the midfielder has encouraged a number of Championship clubs to make formal enquiries about the player.
Pulis said: “What’s his situation? He’s just played a game for us and hopefully, that will give him the confidence to move on and improve.”
“There’s not just Hull that are interested, there are one or two other clubs as well. Will he stay here? We’ll see what happens.”
“It was great that he got his goal, but I thought he played well in the first half too. There were one or two who didn’t do as well in the first half and got better in the second half, but I thought Fletch was one of our better players in the first half as well. I’m really pleased with him.”
“I’ve made a mistake”
While the 5-0 scoreline would suggest otherwise, Middlesbrough struggled for long passages in the first half.
It was only after half time, as Pulis subbed off the debutant Rajiv van La Parra with Lewis Wing, that Boro got going in the game.
“In the first half, we played with five forwards really with Tav and Raj out wide” Pulis admitted.
“They all pushed on, and if anything, I’ve made a mistake doing that because it blocked all the spaces we were really trying to use.”
Tony Pulis will be hoping that Boro carry on their free-scoring attitude once Championship football returns next weekend, with Boro heading to Birmingham City on Saturday.