Secret weapon Marvin Emnes can fire Middlesbrough to safety – Mark Proctor

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MIDDLESBROUGH coach Mark Proctor believes that Marvin Emnes can build on Saturday’s goal against Leicester City and become the side’s secret scoring weapon during the Championship run-in.

The Dutch front-runner took his tally for the season to four when smashing home Boro’s first during the thrilling 3-3 draw against The Foxes.

Emnes, pictured, is set to keep his place for tomorrow trip to relegation threatened Sheffield United with 10-goal top-scorer Leroy Lita struggling to play again this season.

The 22-year-old will partner Australia international Scott McDonald in the Boro forward line – and Proctor is backing him for more goals.

“Marvin is strong, he’s got good feet, he works hard and he dribbles well. People tend to notice his technical skills, but for someone who’s not very big, he’s so strong,” said the former Boro favourite.

“But we’d like him to shoot a bit more because he’s got real power in his right foot. If he does that, I think he’ll certainly get his fair share of goals.

“He just needs to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, rather than always trying to thread a pass to a team-mate.”

A £3.2m signing from Sparta Rotterdam by Gareth Southgate, Emnes rarely got a look-in during his first year in England as Boro were relegated.

He was finally given a run in the side at the start of last season and initially looked the part, only to fall out of favour following Gordon Strachan’s appointment.

But Tony Mowbray, Mark Venus and Proctor believe he has much to offer the side – and he has time on his side to get much better yet.

“He has had a difficult time since coming to Middlesbrough,” reflected Proctor.

“He had to wait a long time to get a chance, then he was left out for a long time and sent out on loan.

“We have spent time working with him and developing his game and he seems to be going from strength to strength.”

Tomorrow’s opponents are currently seven points adrift of safety and Proctor admits all the pressure is on The Blades.

“We were delighted to see Sheffield United lose at QPR the other night,” he said.

““That was good news for us.

“Saturday will be a very, very difficult game, but we’re four games unbeaten and playing some nice football.

“The pressure is certainly on the home side, but we will be respectful of the opposition and will continue to prepare well.”

And Proctor revealed that the coaches and players are buzzing with the enthusiastic support of Boro fans, with more than 2,000 set to converge on Bramall Lane.

“The supporters have been absolutely fantastic,” he said. “They are enjoying what they are seeing, because we are playing attractive, winning football, and there is a feel good factor that we sense too.”