Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

INJURY LIST CASUALTY LIST TAKINGTAKES ITS TOLL; Creative Spark Dimmed by Key Injuries - Mogga Empty Seats

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

INJURY LIST CASUALTY LIST TAKINGTAKES ITS TOLL; Creative Spark Dimmed by Key Injuries - Mogga Empty Seats

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE

INJURIES are the main reason Boro have picked up just one point in back-to-back home games, admits a frustrated Tony Mowbray.

Middlesbrough squandered a hard-earned 2-1 lead last night as Derby grabbed a late equaliser in front of the lowest ever league crowd recorded at the Riverside Stadium.

The result leaves the club at 11th in the table on 13 points from nine games.

With almost a fifth of the season gone, Boro are three points off a play-off place and five behind the top two.

While it's far too early to press the panic button, the absence of key men like Jonathan Woodgate, Rhys Williams and Marvin Emnes is taking its toll, according to the manager, who revealed that his Dutch striker is unlikely to be back in time for Saturday's trip to Watford.

"It seems to be the way it's going for us at the moment," said Mowbray.

"Both centre-halves who started the season are out. Emnes, Miller, Carayol, Reach and, after last night, Zemmama are all out. They are all attacking players, creative players and we lacked creativity and spark, something to get the crowd out of their seats.

"But the reality is those players are unavailable and the balance of the team isn't right because of the injuries.

"There's no disguising that, I fully understand that we don't have any speed in the team, I'm not blind to that.

"The players that bring speed and mobility are unavailable. But you can''t go out and replace them because they will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

"When we get the balance of the team right you will see a difference in the performances."

For the second game in a row, Mowbray criticised the officials for mistakes that cost his side dearly.

On Saturday, the Boro boss felt Leicester's equaliser should have been flagged off-side and City were wrongly awarded a free-kick that indirectly led to their winner. …

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