Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has given his backing to January addition Ravel Morrison, after the midfielder’s loan move from Sheffield United.
Having moved to the Blades from Ostersunds last summer, Morrison has only made four appearances, with the 27-year-old’s last appearance coming in the FA Cup third-round victory over AFC Fylde.
As such, Morrison was sent to the north east where he is hoping to get his season back on track.
Speaking to Teesside Live, his new boss Woodgate has been quick to give the player his full support ahead of this weekend’s Championship fixture away at high-flying Brentford.
“Listen, people can believe whatever they want to believe,” the manager said.
“They are getting their impression of Ravel from newspaper stories but he’s just a normal lad. Let’s give him a chance and get behind him.”
Woodgate promised to ‘work him as hard as we can’ in training to ensure he is ready for regular football following the midfielder’s lack of action.
“We’ve already seen his ability over the last three days, the technical ability he’s got: touch, ability, weight of passing, he finds space, he can pick passes, he’s a really, really good player.
“We need to try and get that out of him and on the pitch and see his potential and I’m sure we can.”
Woodgate, who took over in the summer, has promised to reward the former West Ham, QPR and Lazio star with playing time, after also struggling to earn a first-team spot at his most recent clubs in Sweden and Mexico respectively.
“I’ve looked at what he’s done at his different clubs, He hasn’t really had a run of games, he hasn’t played five on the spin or eight on the spin or whatever and its import we try to give him that platform.”