MIDDLESBROUGH’S play-off ambitions will persist for a further week before manager Tony Mowbray begins to select the club’s fringe players.
With Boro’s chances of a play-off place all but over because of their dismal 2013 record, the home game against sixth-placed Brighton tomorrow (kick off 3pm) represents last chance saloon for the Riverside-outfit.
Remarkably, with fellow play-off positioned side Nottingham Forest visiting on Tuesday as well, two successive wins could yet potentially see Boro close the gap to the play-offs from the present seven points to just a point with three games left.
While the Riverside support are pleading for the inclusion of fringe players such as Adam Reach, Luke Williams, Seb Hines and the Hartlepool-born England U17 captain Bryn Morris, Mowbray will opt for his best side against the Seagulls to give his side the best possible chance of salvaging their season.
“We’re looking to achieve six points if we can. We have to finish the season strongly,” Mowbray said.
“You’ve got to give yourselves the best chance to win these next two games.
“With young players it’s always a gamble.
“How are they going to fare when the pressure is on?
“I genuinely feel as if we can take three points off the both of them. Let’s not give up hope yet.
“I understand the philosophy of looking to next season, looking at young players.
“It will be home-grown players that we look at if the trend is to continue.
“I’m not sure if it’s exactly the right time at the moment (to play fringe players).
“Let’s see what the next two games bring and then we will make an assessment of what we need to do.”
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