Speaking to Teesside Live, Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has explained his decision to opt for Marvin Johnson in the left-back role over Hayden Coulson.

Coulson was a regular starter for Middlesbrough under previous Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate but has ultimately fallen out of favour with new boss Neil Warnock.

Instead, the veteran manager has used Marvin Johnson as his preferred left-back, with Coulson being used from the bench, often as a left-winger as opposed to in defence.

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When asked why Coulson hasn’t featured as much as expected, Warnock said, “I’ve not really seen enough of him if I’m honest.

“I’ve played him in both roles and I have to say I prefer Marvin in that situation at the moment. I think he’s had two or three of his best games.

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“It’s been difficult, when I’ve put him (Coulson) on he hasn’t bashed my door down if I’m honest.”

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But Coulson certainly does have a part to play confirms Warnock and believes his form may have dropped given the pressure of a relegation battle involving his hometown club.

“I talk to him all the time because he’s got tremendous ability. Then again I think when you’re in this situation it’s horrible for certain players, the pressure at your own club. Things that you do naturally and normally, you rush everything in this situation, so I think he knows that. At the start of a season, he’d be a different prospect.”

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He added, “I think at the minute I haven’t had a lot of time to see him so it’s wrong of me to judge him.”

Middlesbrough take on Warnock’s former side Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon, before their season-closer against Sheffield Wednesday next week.