Fulham v Middlesbrough: Jonathan Woodgate discusses massive boost for Boro ahead of Championship clash
Following Tuesday’s tough test at Tottenham Hotspur in which they lost 2-1, Middlesbrough face another trip to London tonight as they face Fulham at Craven Cottage (KO 7:45pm).
The game is arguably Boro’s toughest test in the league since the turn of the year, with the Cottagers sitting in fourth place.
Scott Parker’s side are unbeaten in five of their last six games, with their most recent result being a 1-0 win away at mid-table Hull City.
They will, however, be without joint-top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic who will be out for up to three weeks with an ankle injury.
And Boro manager Jonathan Woodgate has admitted that Mitrovic’s injury is a “boost” for his side.
"It's another difficult game, it'll be our third game in six days, so it will be really tough," he said.
"They've got some really exceptional players in the team. It's a boost Mitrovic is injured for us, but they've got players who can fit into that role as well.
"They've got 26 points from home this season, so they're a really top outfit. Six points off automatic promotion, so it's a really difficult game."
Parker has also had his say on Mitrovic’s injury, describing it as “not nice”.
“When you start seeing your key players injured, it’s not nice, but that’s what you have a squad for,” he said.
“Since then, he’s had a scan and we’re hoping he’ll be alright in the next two or three weeks. Mitro’s a player who has had very few injuries and he’s quite robust.”
16th placed Middlesbrough will take delight from the fact that they have taken more points than any other Championship side since losing 4-0 at Leeds United, and they are unbeaten in their last five league games.
However, they aren’t without their injury problems themselves. Like on Tuesday, they will miss Britt Assombalonga, Daniel Ayala, Ryan Shotton, George Friend and Anfernee Dijksteel.
On Boro, Parker said: “They grew into the game and gave themselves a fighting chance against a very good side in Spurs.
“Jonathan Woodgate’s done a very good job after a slow start. It’ll be another tough game for us.”