'It’s ridiculous': Neil Warnock slams international fixture as Middlesbrough boss explains Paddy McNair's injury ahead of Nottingham Forest clash
Paddy McNair remains a significant injury doubt for Middlesbrough’s game at Nottingham Forest due to an injury he sustained while on international duty.
McNair played 90 minutes for Northern Ireland in a 4-1 World Cup qualifier win over Lithuania, before starting a friendly match in Estonia a few days later on a plastic pitch.
The Boro defender was then forced to withdraw from the starting XI ahead of the Teessiders’ defeat at Coventry on Saturday, much to the frustration of his club manager Neil Warnock.
“Once again I didn’t think we were helped by Paddy missing out late on,” said Warnock ahead of Boro’s trip to Nottingham Forest. “I’m very disappointed. I honestly haven’t got a clue how these national teams work.
“Paddy was telling me on the Sunday that their friendly game they had was the worst plastic pitch they had ever played on for 95 minutes. There is no wonder his right side is all stiff.
“Who would want to pick a friendly game between two relly tough international games on a plastic pitch. It defies logic and there's just no sense in it.
“Now he’s all stiff on one side and has got a slight strain, it’s not much but it’s all from this plastic pitch and it’s ridiculous.”
Asked if McNair will be available to face Forest, Warnock replied: “I doubt it very much.
“He’s going to do a bit today but he’s got just a slight strain on the inside of the bottom of his hamstring.
“The physio says it’s all come from around his side.”
Midfielder Martin Payero and defender Marc Bola also missed the Coventry match through injury and are unlikely to return for Boro against Forest.
Winger Sammy Ameobi remains sidelined with a knee injury.
"I’m hoping they are both going to be on the grass today but we haven’t really got a natural replacement for Bols,” replied Warnock when asked about Bola and Payero.
"It is a difficult time but other clubs will have problems as well.
"I’m disappointed people like Ameobi haven’t been available, I thought he would be a really good asset for us in the way we are going to play. Not to have him available has been a big disappointment.”