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QPR v Boro: Adama Traore backed by Tony Pulis

Tipped for the top: Adama Traore.
Tipped for the top: Adama Traore.
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Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis insisted Adama Traore has the potential to play at the top level after the winger scored his first goal for the club.

Daniel Ayala’s header and George Friend’s brilliant strike put Boro in control by half-time and Traore sealed their win with five minutes remaining.

“He can be frustrating at times, but I’m telling you, if he works it out then he could be anything,” said Pulis.

“You look at the top clubs in the Premier League and they’ve all got that electric pace and no one’s as quick as this boy is.

“He’s starting to work it out a bit now and, hopefully, the penny drops. All we’re asking him to do is what he’s good at, which is to run forward with the ball – and run forward without the ball.

“When he does that, as you saw, he’s unplayable.”

Middlesbrough’s resounding win was their third consecutive away victory and they were comfortable once Ayala nodded them in front in the 24th minute.

“In the first 15 minutes we looked a little bit out of sorts and QPR started really brightly,” said Pulis. “As soon as we got a goal we then went on and deservedly won the game.

“For the players to put in that kind of performance and show that bit of character, I’m really pleased. We played some good stuff at times, created opportunities, and when we had to roll our sleeves up and battle we restricted them to not many opportunities.”

QPR chief Ian Holloway bemoaned defensive lapses which led to his team going 2-0 down.

QPR: Smithies, Onuoha, Lynch, Robinson, Furlong, Luongo, Scowen (Eze 70), Freeman, Bidwell (Samuel 46), Oteh (Smith 46), Washington. Unused substitutes: Ingram, Manning, Baptiste, Wszolek.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Leadbitter, Traore, Downing (Christie 87), Bamford (Clayton 72), Assombalonga (Gestede 69). Unused substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Braithwaite, Fletcher, Johnson.

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands).