Middlesbrough will not underestimate the challenge posed by Championship basement boys Bolton Wanderers, says Garry Monk.
But the Boro boss has revealed that he will have to do without two of his star forwards for the clash, with the news that both Rudy Gestede and Martin Braitwaite are OUT of the trip.
Monk’s men, who sit ninth in the second tier table, travel to the Macron Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) hoping to take advantage of the Trotters winless start to the season.
Although, the former Leeds United and Swansea City boss knows he will have do without multi-million pound front pair Braithwaite and Gestede.
“We’re ready, we’re focused - the international break has been great to do some work on the training field and prepare,” said Monk ahead of this weekend’s return to action.
“In the Championship, you can’t underestimate any team, from the bottom to the top of the table. You’ve seen already that every game we’ve been in has been ultra-competitive, and that will continue as the season goes on.
“We can’t make the mistake of taking it lightly and we won’t.”
On the fitness of Gestede, Monk added: “Rudy’s is a bit of a freak injury really, he picked up dead leg in training on Saturday so it’s an impact injury.
“It is quite rare for it to re-bleed after compression and ice.
“He had a minor operation to relieve the pressure because of the bleeding on his thigh so he’s still in hospital.
“At this point we don’t know the extent or time frame of the injury in terms of the time he will be out.
“Talking to the medical guys we’re hoping sooner rather than later, but we’ll know more when the bleeding stops.
It was slightly better news on Danish international Braithwaite: “Martin is doing really well, he probably won’t make the game at the weekend but we’re pleased with his progress.
“By next week we expect him to be back out on the grass.”