'We're decimated' - Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock reveals worst defensive injury crisis in 42-year-long managerial spell

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock says his team ‘is like a box of chocolates’ and that he never knows what he’s going to get amid a devastating injury crisis at the Riverside.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 11:39 am

Boro host a struggling Peterborough United side tomorrow looking to kick-start their Championship season after a below par opening two months of the campaign.

The Teessiders lost to another struggling side in Hull City last time out but things won’t be any easier for Warnock despite a favourable run of fixtures coming up.

And Warnock, speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit from the Posh, channelled his inner-Forrest Gump to describe the injury nightmare he is facing in defence.

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Neil Warnock has an injury crisis in defence (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

“We’ve got Grant Hall, Dael Fry, and [Anfernee] Dijksteel missing. [Lee] Peltier is suspended. Marc Bola went down yesterday. I haven’t seen Paddy McNair yet, hopefully he’s alright.

“We’re decimated. I haven't totted it up. I don’t want to either, that’s enough for me.

“I was watching Forrest Gump last night and I thought, instead of ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ it’s my team. ‘My team is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”

It leaves 36-year-old Sol Bamba as the only recognised defender available to Warnock who admits he’s never known a defensive crisis like this throughout his managerial career.

The Boro boss hinted he could be set to include some of the club’s U23 stars after William Kokolo featured on the bench in the defeat at Hull.

“We have to be a little bit careful because I think Sol Bamba is on his own at the back.

“Whether he can do three in a week I don't know. We’ll just have to show him some tender loving care in between games and keep our fingers crossed.

“It’s been a nightmare. I have never had anything like this. In 42 years I can't ever remember on a Thursday night not knowing roughly what my team will be.

“We’ve had some of the 23’s with us and they've done well. You’ll have to wait and see, that’s what I get paid for. But whatever team goes out we’re going to try and enjoy it and we’re going to have to get the crowd behind us.”

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