Neil Warnock gives his views on EFL punishments for Derby County and Reading ahead of Middlesbrough's Championship clash at the Madejski Stadium
Middlesbrough kick-off the Championship weekend of football on Saturday lunchtime when they visit the Madejski Stadium.
Neil Warnock’s side have won just one of their last six league fixtures heading into the game against a Reading side facing a potential points deduction for breaching EFL financial regulations.
Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Berkshire we round-up some of the things you might have missed from the Riverside Stadium.
Warnock agrees with EFL punishments
The Boro boss knows what it’s like to be in charge of a club in financial peril as his side look to pile on the misery for the Royals this weekend.
But Warnock conceded he has little sympathy for clubs who spend outside of their limits admitting the EFL are right to clamp down on clubs following the imposed sanctions against Derby County this week and the likely outcome for Reading.
“You don’t know all the ins and outs from all these clubs, but that’s what the fair play rules are supposed to be about, and any breaches should be investigated,” he said.
“I think every club, not just ours, has had to run a tight ship with the pandemic. The rules are there. We all wish we could have unlimited money, but the rules are there in black and white.
“The EFL will only take action against people and clubs that don’t adhere to the rules. I don’t know whether Reading have or not, I’m into the football side so I don’t see a lot of that, but obviously Derby haven’t adhered to it, hence their demise.”
Anfernee Dijksteel’s injury sustained in the defeat to Blackpool added to a growing list of players in the treatment room at the Riverside as Warnock finds himself with a defensive dilemma ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Reading.
Boro have been without defensive duo Paddy McNair and Marc Bola since they both picked up injuries earlier this month and now look set to be without Dijksteel for a period of time.
“I think Dijksteel will be out a substantial time,” admitted Warnock.
“I don’t know how long exactly but I don’t expect to see him for a few weeks.”
He added: “What are the options? Peltier. Hopefully, we can do that. I did try Sol (Bamba) at full-back the other day in the Under-23s, but he said to me after, ‘I hope I never, ever have to play left-back again, gaffer’. It was only for 30 minutes, but I can assure you I actually agreed with him!”
Warnock reserved on safe standing
It was revealed earlier this week football fans may be able to stand when attending matches again with safe standing trials set to be given the go ahead in the Premier League and the Championship.
And Boro boss Warnock had his say on the matter as quoted in the Yorkshire Post: "If they can get people back standing up, then so be it. But we cannot obviously allow anything like that (Hillsborough) to happen any time again and it is still long in the memory of people in Sheffield.
"I would imagine we will know more as the next few months go by."