Neil Warnock faces a number of selection dilemmas as his Middlesbrough side prepare for Sunday’s clash with Fulham.
It’s the first game of the Championship season for both sides and while the Teessiders have made six summer signings, he faces a bit of a headache with regards to availability.
Joe Lumley, Lee Peltier, Matt Crooks and Uche Ikpeazu are all in line to make their debuts for the club, however Warnock is set to be without Hayden Coulson (illness) and Sammy Ameobi (knee) for this one. The medical team will make a late decision regarding Marcus Tavernier and Marc Bola who missed a significant amount of pre-season through injury.
Speaking to the Northern Echo, Warnock explained: “He’s (Ameobi) got a problem with the knee. Not the bad knee that he had but it keeps flaring up and at he moment it doesn’t look like we can stop it from flaring up so I don’t think he’s any nearer to being fit than he was three weeks ago.
“He’s (Coulson) got two more days with the Covid. We’ve a few little sniffs of the virus which we’ve got to overcome, we’re still getting tested everyday. It’s one of those things I’m afraid. For whatever reason, the majority of the players don’t have vaccinations which I think is wrong but that’s how it goes.
“We’ve got a problem on that (left) side, it’s how we sort it out. I know Bola’s training so we’ll have a look how fit he is. Pelts (Lee Peltier) has played on that side, Djiksteel’s played on that side before so we’ll just have a look in training and I’m sure we can come up with something.
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“Isaiah (Jones) did really well before he smashed his nose at Rotherham for a young lad but it might be asking a lot to play against Fulham first game of the season for a young lad so we’ll have a look.”
Warnock also discussed the prospect of Martin Payero featuring with the club’s official website, saying: “We’re waiting on the clearance for Martin so that’s obviously a priority for us at the moment.
“He came in yesterday and met a few of the lads and he’ll train with everyone this morning.”