NEIL WARNOCK has warned Lewis Wing he will find it “very difficult” to force his way back into the Middlesbrough team next season – but insists the midfielder will be given every chance to prove himself during pre-season training.

Wing is currently on loan at Rotherham United, and will sit out this evening’s game with Boro at the New York Stadium as he cannot line up against his parent side.

He has performed creditably during his loan spell in South Yorkshire, but is set to return to Teesside in the summer no matter how the Millers’ ongoing battle against relegation concludes.

Warnock is looking forward to working with the former Northern League player during pre-season, but as he prepares to make a number of personnel changes once the transfer window reopens, he has warned him that forcing his way back into the Boro team will be a tough task.

Warnock said: “We’ve been watching Lewis. I watched him on Sunday (when Rotherham lost at home to Birmingham) and he’s trying his best.

“He knows how I’m looking to improve that area and he’ll find it very difficult, that’s why I wanted him to go and get some games really.

“In pre-season, he’ll be on the same footing as everyone else, he’ll have to show me what he can do.

“In the past, I think managers, you've got your frame in your mind and think he won't be needed or he won't be needed, and somebody comes up and has a great pre-season and all of a sudden they're in the team. There’s always someone that surprises you in pre-season.”