Tony Pulis reportedly still confident that Paddy McNair can be a Middlesbrough success

According to Northern Echo reporter Scott Wilson, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis isn’t ready to give up on summer addition Paddy McNair despite a disappointing start to his career with the Teesside outfit.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Boro signed the Northern Ireland international from north-east rivals Sunderland for a fee that could rise to £5m last June, and hopes were high that the former Manchester United man could prove to be a key player for them this term.

However, he has so far only featured for 341 minutes across 10 Championship appearances as he struggles to nail down a position in the starting XI, which of course could have easily meant Pulis would look to cash in on the 23-year-old this month to potentially raise some funds for new additions.

However, the Northern Echo says that the 60-year-old manager isn’t ready to give up on his signing yet, which means he looks likely to remain at the Riverside Stadium unless the club receive an offer that they can’t afford to turn down.

What happens next?

While it is a positive for McNair that Pulis still feels he has a role to play at Middlesbrough, finding that role for him could prove to be the biggest issue.

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The 23-year-old is capable of playing as a centre-back, defensive midfielder, right-back or right wing-back, but he isn’t currently seen as the first-choice option in any of those positions.

Pulis obviously feels that he can establish himself in one of those though, and it is certainly good to hear from the fans’ point of view that their manager is ready to work with a big-money signing rather than simply giving up on him and selling up.