JONATHAN WOODGATE is set to tweak his Middlesbrough formation tomorrow night in an attempt to ensure Ravel Morrison is more of a threat in the final third.

Morrison joined Boro on loan from Sheffield United at the end of last month’s transfer window, and made his second start for the club in Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at Barnsley.

His work rate and commitment could not be faulted at Oakwell, but he spent much of his time close to the Boro defence instead of breaking into the box to support strikers Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga.

Woodgate wants that to change – starting with tomorrow’s home game against promotion-chasing Leeds United.

“I’ve been telling Ravel that I want him higher up the pitch,” said the Boro head coach. “He’s got a keenness to drop back to try to get on the ball, but I don’t want that. I want him higher up the pitch to try to help the forward players.

“Let’s see if we can help him do that. We’re trying to make him receive the ball higher up the pitch and in dangerous areas. He can be a threat for us, but he’s not the only one. Lewis Wing has done that for us this season too, he’s scored six goals. He can do that as well.”

Boro’s players were booed off the pitch at Oakwell, and Woodgate’s position has been called into question on social media on a number of occasions in the last few days.

The Teessider fully understands the fans’ frustrations, but is urging them to put any unhappiness to one side tomorrow night.

“Let’s hope the fans are really up for the game,” he said. “I’m sure they will be playing against Leeds. We need the fans. Okay, I understand the frustrations, I really do. But we need them to help us to try to beat Leeds.

“I don’t blame the fans at all for voicing their opinion. I’ll take it on the chin. The last two games especially weren’t good enough, and I’ll take that on the chin. It’s not a problem. But what I will do is come back fighting.”