Garry Monk looks like he will be placing a lot of faith in Jota over the next few months. The Spaniard has failed to live up to expectations since we bought him for £6m, but our boss seems to think he can get the best out of him.
Speaking after the Boro defeat, the manager says he has been an admirer of the player for some time:
‘He`s a talent. We all know what he`s capable of. He is a player that can help us, create and be a catalyst for us. I have seen him many times, I managed a Leeds side where he tore us apart. I know exactly what he can do.’
‘He is one of a number of reasons why I came here, I see a lot of capability in the attacking players. They are not quite at the level that they are capable of, it`s for me to work, we want that in a short space of time. I am sure we will get that. He`s a very exciting player, a very creative player – that`s what we need all the time.’
Certainly during the first half on Tuesday, there were some signs that the 26 year old`s form will begin to pick up with the new man at the helm. Players tend to want to impress once a change in the dugout has been made, and it seems there could be a new manager bounce when it comes to this particular player.
Prior to his start versus Middlesbrough, our no.27 last start had come against Wednesday at the start of last month when he bagged a brace. Those two goals are the only ones he has managed for us, which is in stark contrast to his 12 for Brentford last campaign.
As Monk says, he was ripping teams apart with his play last season, and if he could just offer us a hint of that form he has shown before, it could provide us with the goals we desperately need to get out of trouble.
From the gaffer`s comments, it seems he knows a revival in the winger`s game could help kick start the team`s own recovery. Things have certainly not worked out for the player so far at St Andrews, but it looks as though he will have a manager in place now who will give him the freedom to play.
The boss seems intent to play on the front foot, and that means that Jota`s game time will be a lot higher than it was under Cotterill. Certainly, if we continue to play two up front, the goals should be easier to come by, and hopefully we can begin to strike a better balance between attack and defence in the matches against Cardiff and Hull coming up.