Middlesbrough target free agents as Neil Warnock issues fears over strength in-depth plus Peterborough United striker set to miss Riverside clash

Middlesbrough’s inconsistent start to the Championship season continued on Saturday when Neil Warnock’s side fell to a late defeat against Hull City.

By Joe Ramage
Monday, 4th October 2021, 4:16 pm

Boro conceded twice in the final 10 minutes on Humberside to slip to their fifth league defeat of the campaign as Warnock continues to come under increased scrutiny from supporters.

The Boro boss gets something of a reprieve over the next fortnight with the Championship season on hold due to the international break before returning to a crucial double-header at the Riverside against fellow strugglers Peterborough United and Barnsley later this month.

But here, though, we round-up everything you might have missed from the Riverside and around the Championship.

Neil Warnock is looking for reinforcements during the international break (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Middlesbrough boss Warnock keen to strengthen during break

It’s no secret Warnock has struggled with injuries to his Boro squad so far this season - particularly in defence - with key defender Dael Fry seemingly the latest to add to his recent woes.

Fry was forced off late in the defeat to Hull on Saturday as Warnock revealed he may have to bring in reinforcements during the international break and hope those away don’t pick up any injuries.

That will mean dipping into the free agent market which the Boro boss admits comes with a risk.

Peterborough United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris is set to miss Riverside showdown (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post he said: “I have two spaces in the squad. If we could bring one or two in, we might do that, but it's not easy.

“We are looking at players who are out of contract. The problem with that is, are they going to be fit enough to come in and start from day one? It's catch-22, really.

“I am not sure what we will come up with, but we will have to come up with something in the two weeks we have got.

"It’s not easy to see if any of the injured lads will be back for Peterborough and the lads are going to their internationals. If Paddy (McNair) comes back and is injured, then we are cream crackered.”

Former Boro defender recognised

To rub salt into the wounds of Boro’s defensive headache, former captain Daniel Ayala has been selected in the Championship team of the week.

Although on the losing side at Bloomfield Road, Ayala produced another commanding performance at the heart of the Blackburn Rovers backline against Blackpool.

Ayala spent seven seasons at the Riverside before leaving the club last summer.

Peterborough striker to miss Riverside trip

Tensions will be high when Boro return to Championship action with the visit of Peterborough to the Riverside.

Posh have struggled since being promoted from League One last season and currently sit in the bottom three ahead of next weekend’s meeting.

But Boro have been given a boost in the news that Peterborough striker Jonson Clarke-Harris will miss the trip to Teesside after Posh withdrew their appeal against a four match suspension following historical social media posts.

The club originally appealed the decision which suspended the 27-year-old’s ban but have now rescinded their decision to appeal meaning Clarke-Harris will be suspended for the trip to the Riverside.

Clarke-Harris has scored twice in 10 appearances this season after a hugely impressive 33 in all competitions last season as Posh secured promotion to the Championship.

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