Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock gives injury update ahead of West Bromwich Albion clash including Martin Payero, Dael Fry and Grant Hall
Neil Warnock is taking his boots with him ‘just in case’ for the trip to West Bromwich Albion as Middlesbrough’s injury problems show no signs of letting up.
Boro face a daunting trip to the Hawthorns to take on a Baggies side who have yet to lose on home soil this season looking to avoid a third straight defeat.
And that’s just the way things have been going for Warnock and Boro this season as inconsistency plagues their Championship campaign.
Tuesday night’s reverse saw the Teessiders slip back into the bottom half of the table and they will head to the Midlands without Matt Crooks who is suspended while Martin Payero is a concern after missing the defeat at Luton Town.
“It just feels a minute like we’re going two steps forward and a step back, like swimming against the tide whatever we do,” explained the Boro boss.
“Martin was just fatigued really, I think we got a little bit lost in translation.
“I asked him if he wanted to be rested on Sunday ahead of Tuesday because he looked shattered and he told me he wants to play every game.
“I worked in my mind he was playing and then on Monday morning he couldn't walk when he came in, he was like an old man. So we just got a little bit lost.
“I was planning to play him but then he can’t even run. He’s finding it a bit physically strong and I think he’ll be looking forward to the two weeks break.”
Warnock was able to welcome back defender Anfernee Dijksteel in the defeat at Kenilworth Road but the Boro boss admits he is unlikely to see Dael Fry and Grant Hall until after the international break while also raising some concern over a number of other niggles within the squad.
“Dael had another scan yesterday and I'm hoping after the international break he’ll not be far away,” he said.
“Grant was on the grass with the physio, I’ll have a chat with him. He’s been stepping up his training. I think he’ll definitely be available after the window.
“But we’ve got one or two other niggles which haven't helped with preparation this week so we’ll just have to see what we’ve got. I'm taking my boots down with me just in case.”
And Warnock knows his side will be in for a tough examination tomorrow as they take on an Albion team looking to make a return to the Premier League.
Baggies boss Valérien Ismaël has enjoyed a positive start to life at the Hawthorns after joining the club from Barnsley in the summer with his side currently third in the Championship table and boasting an impressive home record so far this season.
“I don’t think anybody will give us a chance there,” said Warnock.
“They’re grinding out results because they’re going to get opportunities with the squad they’ve got. It’s the same as Barnsley, just with better players.
“You have to prepare for what you’re going to come up against. They’re looking to get in the top two. You’ve got to stand up and be counted a bit more than the other night because otherwise they’re going to steamroll us.”