Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Tommo Injury Forces Rethink; PAYLOR ON WEDNESDAY

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Tommo Injury Forces Rethink; PAYLOR ON WEDNESDAY

Article excerpt


GORDON Strachan may be forced into a complete rethink after losing key midfielder Kevin Thomson to injury.

Tommo's cultured left foot was vital to Strachan's hopes of winning a place among the early pacesetters in the Championship.Nowit will be the end of October before the 25-year-old has the chance to get stuck into the fray again.

Strachan has long known about Thomson's skills -which is why he was brought in to be the team's playmaker this season.

Thomson made an immediate impact in Boro's pre-season tour games in Ireland and Germany, and was beginning to settle in nicely before suffering his fractured fibula at the Walkers Stadium.

Boro do not have another player exactly like him, which will force Strachan to rethink his match plans in the immediate future.

The Boro boss has already dabbled with a 4-3-3 formation in the last two games, and may use it more often while Thomson is in rehab. The formation proved the foundation of Boro's Carling Cup win at Chesterfield, while Strachan switched to this formation after Thomson was stretchered off at Leicester.

The injury was accidental, by all accounts, Thomson having been involved in a challenge with former Hearts right-back Robbie Neilson.

Neilson was also acutely aware of Thomson's horrible history of injuries and rushed on to the Boro bus after the game to offers words of comfort.

Thomson said: "Robbie came to see me which was a really nice touch.

"I met him a few times in Edinburgh and he's a nice lad. There was no question of it being malicious.

It was nothing more than a block tackle.

"I still don't know what he was doing inside our penalty box but I came in from the blindside to make the tackle and he kicked my leg instead of the ball.

"It's unfortunate but these things happen -and no one knows that more than me. …

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