Jonathan Woodgate provides fitness update ahead of Salford City meeting
Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga will return to action at Salford tonight but goalkeeper Darren Randolph remains sidelined.
Assombalonga, who scored 14 Championship goals last season, is yet to feature under new head coach Jonathan Woodgate following the forward’s involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Woodgate elected not to play Assombalonga, 26, in the recent friendlies against 1. FC Heidenheim and Bishop Auckland on Saturday but now says the striker is ready to return.
“We wanted to give Britt a few more days before him playing,” Woodgate told the club’s website. “Salford will be the first opportunity for him to get some minutes in.”
Boro were boosted by the return of defensive duo George Friend and Daniel Ayala on Saturday, with both playing over 60 minutes against Bishop Auckland and Heidenheim respectively.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
The pair will hope to get more minutes under their belts against Salford and Saint-Etienne this week, yet first-choice shot-stopper Randolph remains out with a calf issue.
“We had a few players get 90 minutes in at the weekend which was a big plus, and we’ll look to do that with some more of them at Salford on Tuesday,” said Woodgate.
“George Friend and Dani Ayala also got some game time at the weekend which was important.”
On Salford, Woodgate added: “It’ll be a good test. Salford are preparing for their first season as a League club and will want to do well, and this is our penultimate game before Luton, and it’s important that we do the right things.”