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Vicente is best off the bench
Vicente has been urged to carry on being a supersub until he gets fitter.
The injury-plagued Spanish playmaker came off the bench to score Albion’s late free-kick winner against Hull at The Amex on Saturday.
He made his only Championship start of the season in the 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers three weeks ago but assistant manager Mauricio Taricco believes Vicente would be better off staying as an impact substitute in the return clash tonight.
Taricco said: “It’s difficult because, as we all know, he is a quality player.
“In my opinion he needs to be a little bit fitter, physically a bit stronger to cope with 90 minutes.
“If I was him I would prefer to come on in the last 35 minutes, because the opposition is tired and fresh and normally, depending on the score at the time, he has got a great opportunity to be what he was the other day.
“He scored the goal, made a few nice passes, got the headlines, so if I was him I would probably prefer to come on.
“He could play from the first minute and do what he did in the last 35 in the first 35. Then that opens up the game for you and it can work out well anyway. It’s a tricky decision for us. We want him on the pitch but we don’t want to burn him so we are trying to manage it the best way we can.”
Taricco is desperate to follow up the Hull result with another victory against relegated Rovers, who have risen almost unnoticed into the play-off picture themselves in a turbulent season.
He said: “There is no question that if we want to try to nick a place in the play-offs it’s about winning and winning and winning.
“We are nearly there but you need to think that Middlesbrough have lost their last five games and they are still in the play-offs. They should have a good run, so you need an even better run to get there.
“It’s up to us. There are a lot of games to play but we need to get better and more consistent in terms of results, not performance.”