Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Pain of Injuries

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Pain of Injuries

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bernie Slaven

I've never witnessed an injury crisis like Boro's in all my time on Teesside.

It's unbelievable to see so many players injured, especially when most of them are key men.

It makes it a lot harder for Boro to stay in Europe, and get there again next year.

But what surprises me most is that none of the injured players has been stretchered off.

The only player who was stretchered off was Stewart Downing, and he was back playing again in two days.

The rest of the injured players have walked off and then been out of action for weeks and even months.

What makes it worse is that quite a few of the injuries have come in training.

This is the time of the season when you need everybody, but they are falling like flies.

In my time, I can hardly remember anybody getting injured in training, and then only with a slight strain.

But we always made sure we played on the Saturday.

However, the players seem to be on a different level these days.

They're like pedigree dogs. They can be temperamental. But the mongrels seem to go on for ever.

No doubt Steve McClaren will patch up the rest of his players and push them out tonight, still hoping to win the game by a couple of goals.

But it's going to be very difficult to keep a clean sheet, never mind scoring two goals.

I worry that all the injuries will affect the rest of the squad mentally.

The last thing we need is a negative approach, but it must have an impact when the players see another one go down.

And the one thing these injuries do is to prove that we should never have been resting players earlier in the season.

I said that injuries would come along, as they do at every club, and then they would get a natural rest.

Now we face a near impossible task in Lisbon.

We have to get the first goal, or it is goodnight.

McClaren may be tempted to pack the midfield but I would still play with two strikers because I don't think we have anybody who can work the one-up-front role.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is injured but he is not the same player when he is up front by himself. …

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