Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has revealed that Britt Assombalonga missed out on their 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest through illness, while providing updates on the fitness of all of Ashley Fletcher, Anfernee Dijksteel, George Friend, Dael Fry, Daniel Ayala and Patrick Roberts.
Woodgate’s side were denied a win which would have lifted them out of the relegation zone, with Nottingham Forest scoring a controversial late equaliser from Lewis Grabban – and that leaves Boro still inside the Championship’s bottom three heading into their clash with Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
Boro, though, could remain without Assombalonga who missed out on the Forest game through illness, but Fletcher could be back available following a hamstring injury. Additionally, Friend, Dijksteel, Ayala, Roberts and Fry are all likely to remain out of action through their respective injuries.
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Speaking to the press post-match, Woodgate suggested that Middlesbrough could be boosted by the return of Fletcher on Saturday and that they will monitor Assombalonga’s condition, while Roberts and Fry are nearing returns to fitness, but Ayala, Dijksteel and Friend will continue to be absent.
He said: “Britt is ill, i can’t see him being in (training) tomorrow.
“Ashley Fletcher has a hamstring injury, but may be fit for the weekend. George Friend is out for two to three weeks.
“Anfernee Dijksteel won’t be fit. Ayala, no. Patrick Roberts, no. Dael Fry, no. But Dael Fry and Patrick Roberts are getting closer and are working really well.”
This is a fairly positive update for Middlesbrough ahead of their weekend trip to Charlton, which will be another massive game for their hopes of avoiding relegation this season, with Boro potentially able to recall both Assombalonga and Fletcher to the squad, which would help provide more attacking options for Woodgate.
It would also be a real boost for Middlesbrough were they able to call on Roberts and Fry in the next few weeks, with the pair nearing returns to fitness, which will only help to improve Woodgate’s side’s chances of building on their performance against Nottingham Forest.
Although it seems like Boro will remain without the likes of Friend, Ayala and Dijksteel for the next few weeks, which will be a blow, but they have shown against Nottingham Forest that they are capable of producing strong performances without the trio as they bid to get out of trouble.
Were Middlesbrough to get some of their key players back to fitness in the next week or two, and continue to perform like they did at the Riverside against Forest, then Woodgate’s side should have a real chance of getting themselves out of trouble and lifting themselves out of the relegation zone.