Speaking to Teesside Live, Middlesbrough Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate explained his decision to drop Aynsley Pears in place of new signing Dejan Stojanovic away at Charlton Athletic.
Since the departure of Darren Randolph to West Ham in January, youngster Aynsley Pears has been the Middlesbrough number one goalkeeper. However, after his costly mistake in last week’s 2-2 draw at home to Nottingham Forest, Woodgate ultimately dropped Pears in place of new signing Dejan Stojanovic.
Stojanovic was commanding and made a string of saves to ensure Boro came away from the Valley with all three points after a 1-0 win.
Speaking after the victory, Woodgate commended Pears’ performances up until now, as well as the 21-year old’s attitude.
“I think Aynsley has done unbelievably well but I just thought with 10 games to go Dejan has played a lot of competitive games and has done a lot better in training recently” he said.
“He’s played a lot of under-23s games so I thought he deserved a chance.”
“From where Aynsley has come from last year playing in non-league for Gateshead, he’s done absolutely unbelievable.
“His attitude again today, in the warm-up, before the game, when I told him, was magnificent. He’s a mature kid for a 21-year-old.”
Middlesbrough take on Swansea City at The Riverside at the weekend, where they will be hoping to put a string of results together to attempt to beat the drop. Stojanovic will be expected to keep his place instead of Pears in the line up come Saturday afternoon.