Injury-hit Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has this message for Boro fans ahead of Peterborough United test
The going is about to get a little bit tougher for Middlesbrough and Neil Warnock who has admitted football ‘feels cruel’ at the minute.
The Boro boss can’t seem to catch a break on the injury front at the Riverside with full-back Marc Bola the latest on a long list of defenders ravaged by injury.
Bola’s late omission from tomorrow’s squad to face Peterborough United adds to defenders Dael Fry, who went off late in the defeat to Hull City with a groin problem, Grant Hall and Anfernee Dijksteel with Lee Peltier also missing through suspension.
It leaves Warnock up in arms as to who will take to the field when his side welcome Peterborough this weekend with Boro very much in need of having to capitalise on a slightly favourable run of games against teams below them in the Championship table.
“It’s strange not knowing who’s going to be in your team on a Thursday when you’ve had two weeks to prepare but that’s how it goes,” Warnock said.
“I never envisaged some of these lads [still] being out.
“I thought Dijksteel would have been fit and I thought Bola would have been fit. So in that respect it’s been a bit of a nightmare. Only knowing yesterday that Bola wasn’t going to be fit hasn’t helped.
“Football feels cruel at the moment to me the way things are going. But that's why I'm still in the game. You’ve got to bounce back.”
And the situation looks set to remain bleak for Warnock who conceded those on the treatment table will remain there for some time.
“Dael is not quite as bad as we thought. The first prognosis was doom and gloom and was going to be a minimum of three or four months.
“But we’ve had another opinion who thinks it’s going to be three or four weeks, the same as Grant Hall.
“Bola we don’t know, he’s struggling pain wise and said he couldn’t go through the pain barrier. Dijksteel is the same. I can’t see any of them [being fit] before Cardiff if I’m honest.”
It means Warnock will be required to shuffle his pack more than usual for the visit of Posh and the Boro boss believes who ever lines up come 3 o’clock on Saturday, they will need the support of the Riverside behind them.
Warnock dispelled suggestions of crowd angst towards him in the defeat to Hull and believes the home fans will be able to sympathise with his current predicament.
“We’re going to need everyone tomorrow. We’ve got no option. We’ve got what we’ve got.
“Whatever team goes out we’re going to try and enjoy it and we’re going to have to get the crowd behind us.
“I think they’ll realise the difficulty of the occasion but I think the lads can lift the crowd and then I think the crowd can lift the lads. It’s going to be a togetherness tomorrow.
“The pressure is off a little bit. They should go and enjoy it. I think they’ll revel in the occasion with the fans getting behind them.”