Williams: McDonald to spark Boro

Qantas Socceroo Rhys Williams believes his Socceroos team-mate Scott McDonald will provide the spark that ignites Middlesbrough’s promotion challenge.

Qantas Socceroo Rhys Williams believes his Socceroos team-mate Scott McDonald will provide the spark that ignites Middlesbrough-s promotion challenge.

McDonald, who signed from Celtic in the dying stages of the January transfer window, is set to make his second start at the weekend after an impressive debut against Barnsley on Wednesday.

Boro have dominated matches but lacked the killer blow, failing to score in seven of 15 matches since manager Gordon Strachan took charge.

Williams believes the addition of McDonald - plus fellow striker Chris Killen (Celtic) and Lee Miller (Aberdeen) - gives them some much needed firepower.

“We-ve been one of the best teams in the league, the only thing we need to do is score more goals,-- said Williams, who added that the training intensity had already lifted since the new arrivals.

“He-s brought in players that can score like Scott, who has a proven scoring record and I-m confident he can do it for us and that could make all the difference.

“We know we can play well but once we start scoring and putting it together it will be a different story.

“We-ve already made up some ground and in this league (the Championship) all you need to do is go on a run and once you do you-re laughing.--

Williams has resumed training this week after missing the last month with a pelvic injury, but is at least another fortnight from resuming game action.

Prior to that Williams had been a regular under both Gareth Southgate and Strachan in the centre of the park.

“It-s been ongoing but I was playing on it for five or six weeks and it got to the point where I couldn-t do it anymore,-- Williams said.

“I wouldn-t do anything training until the Friday but it got to a point where I couldn-t do it anymore - I needed a break.

“It has been frustrating. While it-s been refreshing in a way, I want to play as many games as I can.

“But there-s loads of games ahead and the World Cup is the main thing so hopefully I can get fit an get myself back in the team.--

Williams, who-s played most of his football at right back - including for the Qantas Socceroos - is poised to continue in central midfield.

“The manager-s brought in seven players in total and that keeps up competition for places, which is important. Luckily he didn-t bring in too many central midfielders,-- said Williams, who resumes training this week after being sidelined with a pelvic injury.

“I think he sees me as a central midfielder.--

Middlesbrough, who sit two points outside the playoff spots, host bottom-of-the-table Peterborough on Sunday before a tough trip to Blackpool on Wednesday (both AEDT).