Nathan Wood: Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock makes England U20 claim as he discusses Hibs loan

Nathan Wood has been challenged to force his way into the Hibs starting XINathan Wood has been challenged to force his way into the Hibs starting XI
Nathan Wood has been challenged to force his way into the Hibs starting XI
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has challenged defender Nathan Wood to get in the Hibs team ‘and stay there’ after sanctioning his season-long loan to the Easter Road side.

The England Under-20 captain headed north towards the end of the summer transfer window and was an unused substitute for Sunday’s goalless derby draw with Hearts.

The 19-year-old has already experienced senior football through 12 appearances for Boro, and a further 12 games on loan at Crewe Alexandra, and opted to join the Capital club last month with a view to continuing his development in the Scottish Premiership.

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Boro boss Warnock believes the versatile centre-back can only really kick on with a run of "competitive men's games".

Speaking to Teesside Live Warnock said: “He has got to play games, Nathan.

"And no disrespect to the England youth games but he’s got to play competitive men's games, I think, to improve. That’s what he needs to do.

"He has a great attitude in that respect, so I think it’s good for him. He has to get in the team, and stay in the team up there.

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"It’s not easy and it’s a tough old league up there. Isaiah [Jones] went away last year as a boy and came back a man so it’s done him a tremendous help to show him what it’s like."

Wood might have his work cut out dislodging the current first-choice pairing of Hibs captain Paul Hanlon and Ryan Porteous, who put in another strong showing against Hearts, but his arrival added some much needed reinforcements to Jack Ross’ defensive options.

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