Onside: Middlesbrough’s injury woe

Burnley's Junior Stanislas  and Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate battle for the ball
Burnley's Junior Stanislas and Middlesbrough's Jonathan Woodgate battle for the ball

BATTLE-WOUNDED Boro know they are going to have to scrap for every point this season - and we’ve got the scars to show for it.

Our injury hit list is nothing short of staggering - especially considering we haven’t even seen the back end of October yet.

Rolls Rhys Williams strolled through the start of the season with his usual class before his ankle gave way and the usually-fit-when-he-plays-for-Boro Jonathan Woodgate oozed brilliance before his temperamental muscles (this time his hamstring) re-appeared in the home defeat to Leicester.

Flying winger Adam Reach started the season with a bang before he joined the ever-growing army on the physios table and last year’s top scorer Marvin Emnes has been in and out.

The exciting Mustapha Carayol has looked every bit of what we need on the flanks, he even comes equipped with a final ball, but has also frustratingly been short of game time due to injury and the unorthodox and unpredictable Ishmael Miller is yet to make an impact after struggling with ankle trouble.

Merouane Zemmama, Justin Hoyte, Cameron Park and Kevin Thomson have also spent periods unavailable. Thank the lord (Mogga) for the new-look free scoring Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Despite our injury woes the Boro are doing alright - and the Championship is doing everything that everybody expected.

Predict a result and you’re good, predict the top six this season and you are a genius.

We were battered at free-flowing Blackpool and then three days later we put a belated end to the Steve Kean side-show at Ewood Park while the same free-flowing Blackpool were battered at home to Huddersfield.

We’re inconsistent but we’re still in touch - and that’s where we must stay.

In giving the Blackburn ‘faithful’ what I think they wanted - the end of the bizarre stay as Kean in charge - the Boro were brilliant.

But Leicester and Derby at home were drab affairs, and that’s me being generous.

Last year we made ourselves at home in the top three until the festivities began and we began to falter.

Reading kicked in to top-gear in the last third of the season and demonstrated the power of momentum.

We just need to make sure we stay in touch - that and somehow give our non-stop medical staff a welcome rest.

- Dominic Shaw