Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Joy and the Agony

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Joy and the Agony

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Fabio Rochemback faces a long spell on the sidelines as Boro today faced up to the price of the battling FA Cup victory at Preston.

The Brazilian midfielder has had hospital scans on his injured ankle amid fears he could be sidelined for several weeks

Boro were buoyant following their fourth consecutive win, but a fresh injury blow has tempered the celebrations.

Steve McClaren told the Evening Gazette: "We're awaiting the results of the scan but it looks a bad injury.

"We are worried that there is ligament damage on both sides of the ankle.

"It is a blow for Fabio but it is something we have to deal with.

"We have had several players coming back from injury and their return has made a big contribution to the improved run of results, as we always said they would."

Boro beat Preston by 2-0 at Deepdale thanks to two second-half goals from Yakubu.

It was not a particularly exciting game, but that hardly mattered as Boro did their job in reaching the sixth round for the first time in four years.

McClaren said: "We're delighted with the result, because we want to keep our runs going in the cup competitions.

"It was always going to be a tough game but we worked hard for the win.

"Credit to Preston. They were on a 25-game unbeaten run - and travelling back from Europe we knew it could be difficult at times.

"We didn't play very well - I'd be the first to admit - but we were hard to beat and we ground out the result.

"When you've got that in your team, and as long as you can defend well, you're in with a chance of winning football matches.

"Under a lot of pressure from Preston, from what little football we played we got two goals - and got the result."

McClaren opted for a tight 4-5-1 formation in the first half which Preston found impossible to break down, though Boro hardly pressed forward themselves before the interval.

It was the introduction of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and the switch to two strikers in the second half which made all the difference. …

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