Middlesbrough striker set for Bristol Rovers stay after Joey Barton holds positive talks

Middlesbrough have a recall option on Bristol Rovers loan striker Josh Coburn.

Joey Barton expects Josh Coburn to remain at Bristol Rovers for the remainder of the season. Middlesbrough did not want the striker cup tied in the FA Cup but the two have since held positive talks.

Last week, Rovers were instructed that they would not be able to choose Coburn for their FA Cup tie against Rochdale. In the end he wasn't required as winter signing Scott Sinclair scored his first goal of his second spell at the club.

Coburn has become an important player for the Rovers after showed patience to wait for him to recover from an injury. The 19-year-old was sidelined from an injury at Middlesbrough in late July and joined on Deadline Day, but it was almost a month until he made his debut.

Unlike Bobby Thomas and Lewis Gibson, who Burnley and Everton were happy to give permission to play, Boro did not want to close that avenue on themselves. Coburn knocked Spurs out of the FA Cup last year and with Round Three on the horizon and a recall option in his deal, they did not want to affect his availability if he did return.

New manager Michael Carrick personally watched the striker recently against Sheffield Wednesday. After Coburn wasn't given permission to play, there was a slight worry he could be recalled in January with an option available to the Teesside club.

Conversations have been held this week however between the two clubs which has brought good news. As long as Boro avoid an injury crisis in the lead-up to and during January, Coburn looks set to remain at the Memorial Stadium for the entire campaign.

"You want to keep all the players you bring in because you have put so much work into them," Barton admitted. Certainly with the younger players.

"It is the job, it’s to get them close to their first team. You understand when clubs recall players or don’t want players cup tied so we understand it.

"From our perspective, we’ve had good conversations with guys at Middlesbrough this week. Barring a bad run of injuries it looks like we’ll keep hold of him for the season."

Since making his debut against Crystal Palace in early October, he has scored three goals in nine appearances. In each game that he has scored in, Rovers have got a positive result. The talented forward is one of three season-long loans at the club after Sylvester Jasper was returned to Fulham.

Talks have progressed so well between the two clubs that for Rovers’ Round Two match with Boreham Wood, he could feature against the National League outfit. Coburn is available for selection again for their next match against Barton’s former club Fleetwood Town, who they play on Saturday, November 12.

“They had a new manager went in and we found out they did want Josh to play. You have to respect that and he doesn’t play.

“We had a couple of conversations at chief scout and board level about their plans for January and once we started the conversation, in the midst of that they won a couple of games, so they are bit clearer on their picture and they think it’s for the best, ‘No, no, that’s why we sent him to you, we think he needs a season on loan, we think it will benefit his development for us later on if he gets a full season’.

He added: “They feel he can play in the second round now. We won’t know until we get there and they give us permission, but because it hasn’t come from the manager yet and it hasn’t come for other people, but if it comes from the manager we’re hoping he can be available in the Boreham Wood game.

“That could change in January, even if he is because they could get some bad luck, but we’re hoping Josh is with us for the season.

“I think the boy wants to be here, the powers that be at Middlesbrough want him to be here, the only thing that is stopping him is probably a bit of bad luck or picking up a serious injury himself, so fingers crossed he is here for the year.”