After scoring the winner in their Derby Day victory, Boro winger Marcus Tavernier has repaid Garry Monk’s faith in him.
Tavernier, 18, scored his first league goal on his full home debut to earn three points for Middlesbrough over bitter rivals Sunderland.
Tavernier netted after six minutes to put Sunderland bottom of the table and push Middlesbrough up to fifth, nine points off leaders Wolves.
After the game, Monk claimed that he was ‘delighted’ with the way that Tavernier has adapted to the first team and believes he can only get better with time.
‘He’ll grow and mature’ said Monk, talking to BBC Tees, ‘but today is definitely a memory that will live with him forever’.
Since making his debut against Scunthorpe in August, Tavernier has made six appearances and scored two goals, the first of which came in a 3-1 loss to Bournemouth in the EFL Cup.
The young winger has already had a taste of international football as well, starting in a 2-2 draw for the England U19’s against Slovakia last month.
Tavernier’s close-range finish spelled more bad news for Sunderland who are under the command of Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay after Simon Grayson’s sacking last week. The Black Cats have slipped to the foot of the table after taking just 10 points from their opening 16 matches, a record low for any team relegated from the Premier League the season before.
For Middlesbrough, this is the fourth consecutive Tees-Wear derby victory and the three points puts them in the play-off spots, level on points with Aston Villa. this is their third consecutive league victory and with a visit to out-of-form Leeds United coming up, there will be high hopes in the Boro camp that they can get a result.
it is yet to be confirmed if Tavernier will feature at Leeds but, with so much energy and in such good form, you would expect him to be the first name on Garry Monk’s team sheet.