Date: 17th March 2018 at 11:26am
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Skipper Grant Leadbitter’s return this afternoon is a major boost in Boro’s bid to maintain their recent impressive record.

The 32-year-old experienced midfielder has recovered from a hamstring injury and also completed a two-match suspension for reaching ten yellow cards this season.

It looks as if Adam Clayton will be now reverting to the bench to accommodate his return as the Teessiders visit Brentford later this afternoon .

“Grant is fine and ready to go, and it’s a great addition to your squad, having your captain back,” manager Tony Pulis confirmed to the Northern Echo. “Grant is a great lad, and a very good captain as well.

“He’s a really good lad to have around the place, and I like the way he conducts himself. He’s a genuine kid as well, that’s the great thing about him. He’s got a real will to drive people on, and it’s great to have him back involved.”

However, the Boro chief could have problems if centre-back Daniel Ayala doesn’t overcome a groin problem in time to start in West London. He’s not trained this week.

His form alongside Ben Gibson has helped securer a trio of recent victories as the team have moved back into the play-offs.

Youngster Dael Fry would appear his obvious direct replacement.

Patrick Bamford is also looking to extend a fine record of scoring eight goals in his last five appearances.

That’s in sharp contrast to club record buy Britt Assombalonga, who hasn’t netted since Boxing Day and suffered a deeply frustrating time.