Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Jonathan Has Real Grounds for Optimism

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Jonathan Has Real Grounds for Optimism

Article excerpt

JONATHAN Grounds has cemented a place for himself in Gareth Southgate's plans -even if the manager brings in an on-loan centre-back.

The 21-year-old Teesside-born defender, pictured left, has played in all five Championship games so far and made a big impact.

Having played in the middle in the last game at Bristol City, Grounds probably believes that this current spell at centre-half will be relatively short.

In addition to Southgate seeking a loanee centre-back, skipper Emanuel Pogatetz is not too far away from his return from a knee op. However Grounds has already done enough at left-back - having been handed the shirt in the very first match - to show that he can hack it in the Championship.

Coach Steve Agnew said: "Groundsy would be disappointed for the first goal at Bristol, when he lost his footing.

"But overall he has done brilliant, particularly at left-back.

"He's 6ft 1in, he's very effective in the air and he was one of the reasons why we started the campaign with four clean sheets in a row. …

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