Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has questioned his side’s leadership, but praised on player in particular who possesses the leadership skills lacking elsewhere in his squad, in an interview with Teesside Live.
Middlesbrough have a relatively young team, but what they lack in experience they make up for in exuberance.
The likes of current captain Jonny Howson, defenders Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier help provide the leadership and know how, something which manager Chris Wilder hopes rubs off on the younger members of the first-team squad.
“I’d like there to be more (leadership) in the team,” revealed the Boro boss.
“At times, I’ve felt the one criticism is that they are a little bit quiet amongst themselves.”
The likes of Isaiah Jones, Dael Fry, Marc Bola, Marcus Tavernier, Riley McGree, Aaron Connolly, and Folarin Balogun are all first-team players, yet they are all 24-years-old or under and so are still learning their trade, developing their game, as well as their character.
One player Wilder points out as an example to follow is Lee Peltier.
The 35-year-old has played in the Champions League for Liverpool, in the Premier League with both Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion, as well as playing in both the second and third tiers with a whole host of clubs.
“Certainly Pelts has got character, personality and a lot of bottle,” said Wilder.
“To come in for his first game since Mansfield and play in the way he did, to compete and organise, I really enjoyed his performance and the team’s performance.
“I look through the group and the likes of Fry, Tavernier, Jones, Dijksteel, the younger boys and even the boys on loan can learn from the likes of Sol and Pelts.”
Peltier has deputised at the back in the absence of Dijskteel in the past two games.
The Dutchman has been out with illness, but could return against Birmingham this evening. If not, Peltier will be the most likely to play in the Boro back three alongside Fry and Paddy McNair.
The other namechecked veteran Sol Bamba will likely be on the bench to provide back up for the aforementioned trio.