Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Goals Will Do Ashley the World of Good'

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Goals Will Do Ashley the World of Good'

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC SHAW dominic.shaw@reachplc.com @DOMSHAWGAZETTE

TONY Pulis hailed Middlesbrough match-winner Ashley Fletcher after his double at Bolton - but says the striker is still "too nice" on and off the pitch.

Fletcher's first half brace against the club he supported as a boy took his recent record to five goals in nine games.

After a frustrating first 18 months at the club, the striker is now flourishing, to the absolute delight of Pulis.

The Boro boss says the former Manchester United striker is a "great kid" but called for patience, pointing to the fact Fletcher is still only 23.

His age, he says, is why he's not playing the striker every single week, with Pulis being on the receiving end of criticism after tinkering with his forward line at Swansea and replacing Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga with Jordan Hugill.

Fletcher and Assombalonga were brought back into the side at struggling Bolton and shone in the first half in particular, pulling the home defence this way and that and creating plenty of opportunities. Fletcher prodded home a blocked Assombalonga shot for his first goal then calmly curled his second into the far corner and being played in by the impressive Mo Besic.

"I've been absolutely delighted (Fletcher)," said Pulis.

"He's a great kid, he's never dropped his head and never been a minute's problem.

"Most probably he's been too nice around the place and he's still too nice as a footballer.

"At times he gets brushed off too easy but that will come, he's got lovely feet. Clean feet.

"These goals will do him the world of good. He's a young lad. He's not as mature as he will be....I'm delighted.

Pulis added: "Again, you get crucified for not playing him Saturday "He's a young lad still growing into his body. People say 'he's a young lad, he can run around all the time'. …

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