John Obi Mikel 'really inspires' his Middlesbrough teammates - Tony Pulis

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The Nigerian International has won the hearts of Boro fans with his exceptional performances since joining the side in January

Tony Pulis has spoken highly of John Obi Mikel's influence at Middlesbrough, saying the Nigeria international 'really inspires' his teammates.

The midfielder joined Boro during the winter transfer window on the back of a stint in China with Tianjin Teda and his talismanic displays in the team has left the 61-year-old impressed.

"Since he came into the football club, the level of his performances have been exceptional," Pulis told club website.

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"He'll give credit to the other players around him, I've spoken to him and he's done that. You don't win the trophies he's won for no reason.

"When you've got young players working with a top player who's won everything in the game, it really inspires them."

Middlesbrough who have only lost two of their last 12 games are fifth in the Championship log with 58 points from 34 matches and will hope to maintain that impressive form when they play host to Brentford on Saturday.