GARRY MONK branded Adama Traore’s behaviour as ‘unacceptable’ after the Middlesbrough midfielder was excluded from the squad for Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Barnsley because he was late for the bus to Boro’s team hotel.

Boro’s players travelled to South Yorkshire on Friday evening ahead of their weekend game at Oakwell, but Traore did not arrive at the club’s Rockliffe Park training ground at the pre-arranged meeting time.

It is understood he had not given any indication that he was going to be late, so Monk immediately decided to axe the 21-year-old from his squad.

Ryan Shotton’s exclusion from the 18-man group at Oakwell was a matter of selection, but Traore’s absence was a disciplinary matter and the winger is set to be fined as a result.

“You have to make decisions with a squad in terms of who travels and who doesn’t,” said Monk, in the wake of his side’s draw. “Ryan was left out. In terms of Adama, he was late for the bus, and you can’t be late for the bus.

“We don’t accept that. That’s why he wasn’t in the squad. Those are the rules that every player and everyone has to abide by. We were travelling, he missed the time, and that’s why he missed the trip.

“Like always, we deal with everything in house, but there are certain rules that the group have to follow. We’re very focused on them. They’re very important to us as a group, and the standards that we set, and if you don’t come up to those standards then you’re not involved in certain situations.

“Adama missed the bus and that’s why he wasn’t here. We’ll keep everything else in house, get back to work, and focus on the next game.”

It remains to be seen whether Traore’s time-keeping lapse has long-term repercussions, but only last week, Monk was warning the winger that he had to buy into Boro’s team ethic if he was going to remain in the first team.

Traore produced a dazzling display at Bolton Wanderers earlier in the season, but was sent off at Aston Villa in his next outing and was hauled off at half-time in the 2-2 draw with Brentford that preceded the international break.

This weekend’s incident has strong parallels with Roy Keane’s decision to leave three of his Sunderland players out of the squad after they also missed the bus to Barnsley in 2007.

Antony Stokes, Marton Fulop and Tobias Hysen failed to turn up in time, and Keane axed them from the squad for a game that ended in a 2-0 away win.

“I’m trying to change the mentality of a lot of things at this club,” said Keane at the time. “I don’t want this to be a place where you feel you could be late for training or not train hard all the time. Those were the vibes I had when I got the job, and I judge people by actions, not intentions.”