New Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder reveals team news ahead of Championship clash with Millwall

Chris Wilder believes he’s got the best job in the region, but he wants to have the hardest one when it comes to his team selection on a match day.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:07 pm

The new Middlesbrough boss held his first pre-match press conference ahead of making his bow at the Riverside on Saturday for the visit of Gary Rowett’s Millwall.

Wilder has inherited a squad sitting 14th in the Championship table, struggling for consistency having followed up three straight victories with three games without a win, and a squad which continues to struggle with injuries to key personnel.

Those injuries, particularly in defence, led to Wilder agreeing a short-term deal with former Swansea City and Aston Villa fullback Neil Taylor yesterday after the Welshman completed a 60 minute run out for the club’s U23 side against Nottingham Forest last week.

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New Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder is preparing for his first game in charge against Millwall. (Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images)

And Taylor may be thrown straight into the action tomorrow with Marc Bola still a doubt despite his return to training this week as Wilder continues to get to grips with his new squad.

“There are a few injuries and it’s just important we get everybody back healthy,” he said.

“Of the injured boys, we’ve had Uche [Ikpeazu] back on the grass this week, we’ve had Marc Bola back on the grass this week.

“But they both missed last week and I think that meant at one stage we had ten and four kids in there.

Former Swansea City and Aston Villa defender Neil Taylor joined Middlesbrough on a short-term deal (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

“Sammy Ameobi and Darnell Fisher are long-term, and Marcus Browne is looking to get back on the grass now. Dael Fry is making big strides to get himself back available.

“I think it’s just basic common sense that we need everybody healthy. We need every player knocking on the door.

“I want to have the hardest job in this area. I’ve got the best one, but I want to have the hardest in terms of picking that team.

“And I want people knocking on my door saying, ‘why am I not playing?’ And then I can talk to them.”

Despite question marks over a number of his players, Wilder remained coy on who Boro fans can expect to see at the Riverside tomorrow, but did suggest there would be changes with many expecting the former Sheffield United manager to consider the approach which earned him such success at Bramall Lane on Teesside.

“The team will be picked to get a result. There may be changes from a tactical and personnel point of view, and they’ve got to understand that and accept that, but the group will only be good if it’s healthy and it’s up to numbers,” he added.

“I think one of the things we have to look at as well is that there is still 30 games to go [this season], so there will be no gambles in terms of chucking players in.

“But at the moment, as you’ll possibly have seen and might see on Saturday, it’s not at that position that I would like it to be,” added the new Boro boss ahead of the weekend.

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