Neil Warnock fires warning to Watford as Middlesbrough boss delivers verdict on Hornets and Norwich
Middlesbrough will be without a handful of first-team players when they face Watford at the Riverside – yet Neil Warnock still believes his side can cause an upset.
The Hornets, managed by Xisco Munoz, are second in the Championship behind leaders Norwich, and have recorded six consecutive wins.
Boro, meanwhile, are ninth in the table and slipped seven points off the play-off places following a 3-1 defeat at Bournemouth.
The Teessiders will still be without midfielder Marcus Tavernier and centre-back Dael Fry, who missed the Bournemouth match with hamstring and calf injuries respectively.
Defender Anfernee Dijsteel has also been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle issue.
When asked about Watford ahead of the match, Warnock said: “I think them and Norwich are by far the best, the squads they've got.
“I'd like to play them with a full squad. We’ll be a bit weakened, but if anyone can beat them it's us. We'll have a go.
“What you need against Watford and the likes of those is a full house, a crowd. Let's hope we're reporting and managing a team with fans next year.
“They're as good a squad as there is in the league.”
Despite accepting Boro won’t finish in the play-offs this season, Warnock is assessing his squad for the 2021/22 campaign, with the aim of challenging for promotion.
“Most of the players I know who is going to be part of my plans,” Warnock added.
“There might be the odd one or two who have got something to show me, but in my heart of hearts I know more or less what I want. Getting them is a different thing.
“Steve (Gibson) is desperate for us to do well, he knows I have to bite my tongue and be frustrated this season.
“I'm a little bit impatient. When you're 72 you want it to happen yesterday. I can see that I might finish on a high.
“I think it's an exciting time, especially if we get them rabble rousers back in the stadium
“I think it's a fabulous time to be Middlesbrough manager. I'm quite excited.”