NEIL WARNOCK has suggested Paddy McNair could remain in a more attacking position after impressing in the role during Middlesbrough's win over Sheffield United on Tuesday night.

In the absence of both James Lea-Siliki and Martin Payero, Warnock shuffled his side around for the win over the Blades.

Marc Bola and Marcus Tavernier played as wing-backs, with Jonny Howson stationed in front of a central-defensive trio formed of Lee Peltier, Sol Bamba and Dael Fry.

With Howson performing a screening role, McNair was pushed on to support Matt Crooks, Duncan Watmore and Andraz Sporar, and the Northern Irishman delivered as he drove home from the edge of the area to double Boro’s lead shortly before half-time.

Last season, McNair spent the majority of his time playing as a centre-half, and Warnock still believes that is the 26-year-old’s best position.

However, he is confident he can make a valuable contribution in more of an attacking-midfield role, and has hinted McNair could find himself playing further up the field on a reasonably regular basis this season.

“He’s got goals in him,” said the Boro boss. “I just wish he could play two positions at once because I think he’s a great centre-half.

“I asked him to do another role against Sheffield United, and in fairness, the last time he played with Jonny Howson he got criticised for the pair being too similar.

“We didn’t play in him there (against Sheffield United) though – we let Jonny Howson deal with them and pushed Paddy on to be more around the strikers.

"I thought that worked better. He can do that, and there’s a goal in him, isn’t there?”