Middlesbrough are unbeaten in three games, picking up one win and two draws in that time, and competition for places has never been more apparent.

Woodgate has rotated his squad well in recent weeks, chopping and changing at full-back, in the centre of defence and the centre of midfield as well as on the flanks.

There are plenty of options at his disposal in the centre of the park, with George Saville, Adam Clayton, Lewis Wing, Paddy McNair and Jonny Howson available.

Saville has been the one to miss out so far this season, starting just one game all campaign, a 1-1 draw against his former side Millwall at The Riverside at the end of August.

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“I haven’t been starting as much as I want and it’s obviously frustrating for any player if you are not starting” he said in an interview with Teesside Live.

“But I’ll keep training hard and hopefully I will get a chance and a run in the team.”

When asked if he has been spoken to by manager Jonathan Woodgate about not being included from the off more regularly, Saville replied:

 “No but he works with us day-to-day obviously and he speaks to me about what he wants for his team so it’s just and matter of being given an opportunity and then taking it.”

“Obviously we’ve got good competition, that’s probably the strongest part in our current squad so it’s about fighting for your position and working hard.”

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Saville will be hoping to be included in the starting eleven this weekend, as Boro host Reading at The Riverside.