Jonathan Woodgate clarifies Britt Assombalonga situation ahead of FA Cup meeting with Tottenham

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate says striker Britt Assombalonga is desperate to return but is still struggling with an ankle injury.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 8:30 am
Britt Assombalonga has missed Middlesbrough's last six games through injury.
Britt Assombalonga has missed Middlesbrough's last six games through injury.

The Boro frontman has missed his side’s last six games after he was on the end of a heavy challenge during a 1-0 win over Charlton at the start of December.

Woodgate has been repeatedly asked about his top scorer over the festive period, but despite saying the frontman could return, Assombalonga hasn’t even featured in the matchday squad.

It comes after Assombalonga was linked with a move away from the Riverside in the summer, yet Woodgate insists the injury is genuine and the striker remains part of his plans.

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“When Britt is fit he is 100 per cent part of my plans,” said Woodgate during Friday’s press conference ahead of Boro’s FA Cup meeting with Tottenham.

“Britt went to see a specialist yesterday on his ankle, he may be out for ten days to two weeks time.

“Britt hasn’t been pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes so believe me on that one.

“He’s actually tried to train five times and has struggled with it.”

Woodgate does at least have options at the top end of the pitch, where Ashley Fletcher has often been asked to lead the line.

Rudy Gestede’s return to fitness and the loan arrival of Lukas Nmecha from Manchester City have certainly bolstered the Teessiders’ options.

“It’s good to have four strikers, look at all the top teams,” added Woodgate. “With the form now of Rudy it’s really good for us.”