MIDDLESBROUGH return to Championship action at home to Blackpool tomorrow – but Seb Hines will have to wait for his chance, despite the backing of manager Tony Mowbray, writes CRAIG HOPE.
The talented defender has now overcome an ankle problem and is knocking on the first-team door.
But stood between Hines and a starting jersey are the defenders who have helped Boro to record an impressive eight clean sheets in their 16 league outings so far this season.
Matthew Bates, Rhys Williams, Stephen McManus and Tony McMahon have all occupied one of the centre-back berths at some juncture and, with Boro currently third in the table, it appears they’ve been doing something right.
Another doubt is the long-term fitness of the 23-year-old who has been beset by injury problems over the past 12 months.
But boss Mowbray believes Hines has what it takes to break into his senior side.
“I’m pretty sure his time will come,” said the Boro chief.
Read more of Mowbray’s thoughts in today’s Sportmail.