Norwich City v Middlesbrough - Rookie Dael Fry has ‘grown up’ claims Neil Warnock

IT remains to be seen if two Middlesbrough lads and top-class defenders in their own right provide a subplot to today’s meeting at Carrow Road.

Middlesbrough's Dael Fry. Photo:Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Former Boro captain and Norwich City loanee Ben Gibson should definitely be playing against his hometown club, although Dael Fry’s participation is in some doubt.

Gibson, as many suspected, has proved a very astute loan buy on the part of Norwich and few would be surprised if he and his Canaries team-mates are wearing Championship winners’ medals come mid-May.

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An eye injury – sustained in a horrific incident last Sunday – is likely to preclude Fry from involvement for Boro, although he is on the mend. His participation this lunchtime is likely to depend on his own personal call with Warnock leaving it up to the player.

What the Boro chief is unequivocal about is that Fry has become a man during his time at the club.

Warnock said: “I feel he has grown up.

“I feel when I came, he was a bit immature, if I am honest, with my conversations with him.

“I think he is a ‘man’ now and Paddy (McNair) has helped him. He is our leader, really and we go off him.

“If you are one of the top clubs, he has got to be on your list, if I am honest.

“But I am glad I have not had any phone calls. I don’t think Steve (Gibson) would sell him anyhow at the moment. I think Steve is happy with what we have and is trying to let me have one or two in.”

On the condition of Fry, who missed the midweek game with Rotherham, Warnock continued: “He is a big loss, but I will not rush him back unless he is ready because we have another week before the next game and he will definitely be okay for that.

“We will have to see how he is.”

Meanwhile, Warnock has revealed that a reference from Millers chief Paul Warne helped convince him to bring former Rotherham defender Darnell Fisher to the club from Preston,

Fisher has signed a deal until the summer of 2023 after Boro agreed a deal with North End.

Warnock said: “We are delighted to have him. I spoke to Paul at Rotherham who worked with him and he said he is a smashing lad who will fit in really with us. He is an athletic type who is desperate to come and do well with us.”

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