Jonathan Woodgate on Middlesbrough's returning trio plus Shotton and Browne injury latest
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate hopes the upcoming international break will allow his squad to recuperate after several injury concerns in the last few weeks.
Ahead of Saturday’s 2-2 draw at QPR, Woodgate said there were doubts over nine players, yet three of those, Darren Randolph, George Friend and Ashley Fletcher, started while Aynsley Pears and Ben Liddle made the bench.
Woodgate later praised the aforementioned players who handed him a much-needed boost at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
“On Wednesday, we had Randolph out, George Friend only just back in training, so I didn’t think he would be playing either, and then Fletcher out too.
“But all three came and knocked on my door on Friday morning and said, ‘Gaffer, I want to play’.
“All three of them. They weren’t 100 per cent fit, but they said, ‘I want to play for you’. That’s top. The situation we’re going through at the minute is difficult, and we’re scrapping and battling, so they could have taken the easy option and not played.”
Boro now have two weeks to prepare for two massive home games against Hull City and Barnsley after the international break.
By then the likes of Marcus Browne (hamstring) and Ryan Shotton (ankle) should also be closer to full fitness.
“We will do a lot more work, we'll get a few more lads back fit, and keep on working, keep going in the right direction and be positive,” added Woodgate.
“Browne may be fit for after the international break, Shotton three or four weeks, maybe five weeks. It's a slight ankle injury.”