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A late Steele for Boro
10:59am Monday 17th September 2012 in Sport
JASON STEELE will claim an assist in Middlesbrough’s third consecutive home victory – something even his goalkeeping idol would be impressed with.
Steele supplied Mustapha Carayol with a perfect pass from the back to allow the Gambian to fire home Boro’s second goal, deep into injury time, and the Newton Aycliffe keeper admitted his technique is based on that of a goalkeeper who was also involved in North-East action this weekend.
“It was great to have a hand in the goal with that longrange pass because it’s a technique I’ve been working on since I was a kid. I have been watching the top-quality keepers since then and a lot of them kick the ball like that,” said Steele.
“My favourite goalie has always been Pepe Reina,”
added the 22-year-old. I suppose I have just been copying him and I try to use it to the team’s advantage. This time it paid off.
“Reina is the best of both worlds – a mixture of the continental and the British and that is the way the game is going at the minute.”
While Reina had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light, Steele helped his side to a 2-0 victory over Ipswich – his first league clean sheet of the season – after a fine performance against Norway in England Under-21 action.
However, Steele’s career could have taken a very different path had he not taken a chance when he was a teenager.
“I played outfield until I was 12, a midfielder come winger but not a very quick one,” said Steele.
“I liked to pass the ball about but then I was asked to play in goal one day for my team in Newton Aycliffe.
“Last season I did well but the season before I was only 19, 20 and I was thrown in at the deep end. For the first half of the season I was really good but then it took its toll on me because I was so young and I’d never played so many games.
“I needed rest, which I got because I was injured, then I came back a lot stronger.”
Manager Tony Mowbray was delighted with Steele’s contribution, explaining that his goalkeepers are encouraged to move the ball forward as much as possible – despite Boro’s goal coming from a position where most would expect the keeper to hold on to the ball and play for time.
Mowbray said: “He wasn’t overworked, yet he did everything he was asked to do pretty well.
“I’m delighted with him, and delighted with the team when a few found it tough going.”