Middlesbrough bounced back from the loss to Bristol City by hammering Preston North End in a 4-0 Championship win on Tuesday night.
Middlesbrough controlled the game from the start and were three goals up at half-time thanks to an Isaiah Jones double and a Rav van den Berg goal. The scoring was completed in the second half by Alex Bangura.
The victory takes Michael Carrick’s side up to 9th place in the Championship table, just three points off the play-off places.
One player that impressed for Boro in the game is the aforementioned van den Berg. The 19-year-old moved to centre-back from right-back in the game, and scored his first goal for the club as well.
Teesside Live rated the player’s performance on Tuesday night as an 8/10, with journalist Craig Johns writing:
“Marked his move back to the middle with his first goal for the club and was also really solid defensively, rarely letting anyone get beyond him in a really mature performance.”
A quick impact on Teesside
Van den Berg has been an important player so far in the 2023/24 season for Middlesbrough. Even though he is still a teenager, he has been trusted by manager Michael Carrick to play in the majority of Championship games this season.
So far, the Dutchman has featured 11 times for the side this season. That number will only continue to grow if the player keeps up the level of performance he showed against Preston.
It will be interesting to see if van den Berg stays at centre-back for Middlesbrough, or returns to his right-back role. The player is naturally a central defender, so he may stay where he played in the win over Preston after this eye-catching defensive display.
Middlesbrough are next in action in the Championship against Leeds United. That is a game which will be real test of their credentials for promotion, so van den Berg will have to be at his best again.