Mikel’s Off-pitch Influence Excites Boro’s Coach

WEST BROMWICH, UK 2ND FEBRUARY Mikel John Obi of West Bromwich Albion and Jay Rodriguez of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich on Saturday 2nd February 2019. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Middlesbrough coach, Tony Pulis is looking at another angle to the influence he is expecting from John Mikel Obi at the club, as the Boro gaffer says the Super Eagles’ star has a great influence of his teammates who live near him in the same neighbourhood.

While many observers have already spoken of Mikel’s leadership role among his new teammates, who respect him as a former Cheslea regular, can report hat Pulis has added another level of influence the midfielder has in the squad.

Such it is that Pulis is looking to Mikel lending support off the pitch as well to Bosnian midfielder, Mo Besic, who the gaffer says can learn much on several levels from his new neighbour.

It is the coach’s expectation that Mikel can help bring the very best out of the Bosnian star at the crucial stage of Boro’s surge for reckoning in the English Championship promotion run-in.

Besic inspired Boro to a 2-0 home win over Queens Park Rangers at the weekend, as he teed up both goals in the first half for Jonny Howson and Ashley Fletcher, but Pulis is not ignoring the underlining role played by Mikel as well.

The boss admitted he was delighted to see Besic close his best against The Hoops and believes the arrival of Mikel could help the Bosnian hit even better form in the final months of the season.

Pulis enthused: “If we can get Besic up to that level that he was at last year, him and John…yeah, that’s an awesome pair in midfield.

“It might help him that the two of them are close together, they both live next to each other now, so John might bring that out of him.

“We’ve got to get him up to that level. There are 13 games left, that’s a lot of games.”

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