Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock praises Argentine midfielder after Cardiff City win but admits injured stars unlikely to return ahead of Birmingham City clash

Things are looking up for Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock after his side sealed their third straight win over Cardiff City.

By Joe Ramage
Monday, 25th October 2021, 4:30 pm

Boro dominated the first half and took the lead through on-loan Sporting Lisbon star Andraz Sporar who coolly converted from the penalty spot.

And despite having to weather an early second half storm from the Bluebirds, Boro grabbed their second of the afternoon through Argentine Martin Payero who scored his first goal for the club as the Teessiders edged into the top six of the Championship table.

And here, we round-up what’s been happening at the Riverside and around the Championship today.

Middlesbrough midfielder Martin Payero is off the mark after goal against Cardiff City. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

Warnock praises Payero

Of the number of signings made on Teesside this summer midfielder Payero was at the top of the list in terms of who grabbed the attention of supporters most.

But the Argentine has struggled to make an impact in the early stages of his Boro career before finally grabbing his first goal for the club in Saturday’s win.

And boss Warnock was delighted to see Payero find the target.

"It wasn't just the goal, I think his overall performance was very good," Warnock told BBC Tees Sport.

"He kept us ticking along. The most difficult thing to do is the simple one, and he keeps it simple at times whereas one or two lads try to complicate it and come unstuck.

"I never thought he was that good in the air, but he won a lot in the air against bigger lads.

"I am really pleased for him and I'm glad to see the lads give him a round of applause."

Injured stars unlikely to return

Despite a successful week for Warnock with three straight wins and three clean sheets, there remains a number of injury concerns at the Riverside.

Warnock has had to rotate several of his squad out of position in recent games with a number of defensive casualties who are unlikely to return for the visit of Birmingham this weekend.

Speaking to Teesside Live and the Gazette Warnock said: “I can’t see any of the others being back. I think Dijksteel is probably the nearest to being back, but I can’t really see it for next weekend.

“I don’t think even this side of the international break, if I’m honest. They are all bad injuries.”

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