Middlesbrough boss praises Paddy McNair and Jonny Howson as Boro battle injury crisis

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Middlesbrough duo Paddy McNair and Jonny Howson have won praise from manager Neil Warnock as Boro continue to battle a defensive injury crisis.

Boro are targeting their fourth-straight Championship victory this weekend but Warnock remains shy of several players due to an injury crisis, particularly in defence.

Speaking ahead of the home clash with Birmingham City at The Riverside on Saturday afternoon, Warnock said: “I think it just shows you how you need players that can adapt to different roles really.

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“I’ve always thought Paddy McNair was a class above anyone else when he’s played where he’s playing at the moment. I think he’s a decent midfielder but I’ve always thought he was class playing at the back so that didn’t bother me.

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.

Jonny Howson I didn’t want to move him out of there because I thought he’s been instrumental in there but we’ve had no option so like you say, we’ve had to do that but he’s really worked hard in training, the things we’ve had to do with Jonny to try and show him different things, like what’s going to happen to him in the game. He’s revelled in that.

“Same with Lee Peltier and Matt Crooks. There’ll play anywhere for me and do any job and I’ve never seen him fitter than he is at the moment so it’s sometimes like that in management.

"You get thrown a lot and you shuffle the pack and things work out for you. Another time it could have been a disaster so we’ve just got to keep going.”

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