Aitor Karanka says Dani Ayala’s suspension will offer Kenneth Omeruo the opportunity to stake a claim at the heart of the Boro defence.
Boro are without the services of Ayala this weekend after the defender picked up his tenth yellow card of the season against Manchester City.
Ayala will be ineligible for Boro’s next two games against Brenford and Charlton, and Karanka says the Spaniard’s absence provides an opportunity for Omeruo to re-establish himself in the back four. Omeruo has not played since the trip to Barnsley in the FA Cup and has found himself struggling for a start due to the fine form displayed by Ayala and Gibson.
However, Karanka said that Omeruo’s attitude in training has been admirable and the Nigerian defender will now have the chance to fight for his place in the starting 11 at Griffin Park. “Dani has been playing really well, but last season we played around 10 or 12 games with Gibbo and Ken and they were brilliant,” said Karanka. “Yes it’s a big miss because he’s a very good player and is doing really well, but we have other players to play in that positon.
“Ken is good, he’s been training well and for him it’s not a strange situation to be in because last season was the same when he came here. “He wasn’t playing games because Gibbo and Dani were playing well but when he had his opportunity he took it.
“He’s the first person who knows that Gibbo and Dani have played really well. He understands his position, has been training really well and now he has his opportunity again.”