Neil Warnock quizzed on Britt Assombalonga and Marcus Bettinelli contract situations as Middlesbrough assess options

Neil Warnock insists he has no issues with Britt Assombalonga after the striker missed last weekend’s game at Swansea through illness.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 6:30 am

The 28-year-old frontman will see his Middlesbrough contract expire this summer, while there hasn’t been much indication he will be offered a new deal.

Assombalonga wasn’t named on the bench at Swansea but posted a picture on Instagram a few days later of himself laughing in training, accompanied with the caption: ‘under the weather.’

Duncan Watmore was also said to be feeling ill last weekend and was substituted at half-time against Swansea.

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Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga.

When asked about Assombalonga ahead of Boro’s home game against Stoke, Warnock replied: “He’s done really well this week in training, and Duncan’s the same.

"Duncan looked really lethargic at Swansea I thought, but they’ve all been outstanding in training this week. There’s been laughter and joking, but putting hard work in at the same time, which is what you want as a manager.

“I haven’t got a problem. Obviously, I’m not daft and he’s not daft, and I think these next two or three games will decide what we’re going to do and we’ll act accordingly after that.

“There’s 11 games to go – there’ll only be eight in a week’s time – so I think you’ll probably have to talk to me after the international break. That’s another cock-up isn’t it, the international break.

"The Irish lads are playing Wednesday, Saturday and then they’re playing on Wednesday night and we’re playing Friday afternoon at Bournemouth? It makes me mad.

“You can’t tell me that Northern Ireland couldn’t get the game on Tuesday if they’d had wanted it. There’s no thought whatsoever. Nobody gives a damn about anybody else."

Warnock was also asked about the future of goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, who is on loan from Fulham but will see his contract at Craven Cottage expire this summer.

“I just think with decisions like that, you’ve got to wait until the end of the season, until we know where we are really,” said Warnock.

"We’ve talked about Britt and Ashley (Fletcher), and people who are out of contract like that, I think that will all be decided later.”

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