MARVIN Emnes is set to return to lead the Middlesbrough attack at Blackpool tonight after missing the weekend win over Ipswich Town.
The Dutch hitman was given compassionate leave last week but was back on the training ground yesterday and travels with the squad for the Championship clash at Bloomfield Road (kick off 7.45pm).
And boss Tony Mowbray explained: “Marvin had a family issue to deal with in Surinam last week and he hasn’t spent any time on our training ground.
“It didn’t feel it was right to involve him on Saturday after a long flight back.
“Thankfully for us, it didn’t backfire against Ipswich, we managed to score a couple of goals.
“He didn’t have an injury, it was a personal issue within his family that we had some compassion about.
“Bottom line, we pay his salary and he works for us and yet we allowed him to go away for a week or two.
“Hopefully the rewards are there and Marvin sees what we allowed him to do.”
It was Luke Williams who seized the chance to shine in Emnes’ absence against The Tractor Boys, netting the opener on course to a 2-0 victory.
But Williams is not guaranteed to keep his place in the side, as Mowbray explained: “Let’s wait and see (if Williams starts).
“It doesn’t automatically mean that because you score a goal in the match you play the next game.
“Marvin will be back in contention and I would have to say Emnes is a real high quality player.
“Luke’s looked so sharp in training.
“He’s scored lots of goals in training and I think it was right that when he’s hot like that we put him on the pitch.
“He’s a young guy who we know can do it but we can’t rely on him to do it in 40 games a season.
“He’s a young boy who every now and then he will impact on the team.”
Boro would leapfrog second-placed Blackpool with victory this evening and could even top the table should other results go their way.