Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has revealed that James Lea Siliki came off with a thigh issue at Nottingham Forest, but also suggested that Martin Payero should be ready to make a return to action against Blackpool.
Warnock’s side managed to bounce back from their defeat at Coventry City last weekend by delivering a strong performance away against struggling Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
The decision from Warnock to start all three of Middlesbrough’s new arrivals in the shape of Onel Hernandez, Andraz Sporar and Lea Siliki proved to be fully vindicated as they all played a crucial role in helping Boro pick up the three points.
Payero missed out on the win at Forest with Warnock having revealed to the media ahead of the game that the midfielder had suffered a knock to his ankle.
While Lea Siliki’s first start for Middlesbrough in the Championship was brought to an end in the 71st minute when he was withdrawn and replaced by Isaiah Jones.
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Speaking to Teesside Live following Boro’s win at Forest, Warnock revealed that Siliki had suffered from a hurt thigh before he was taken off.
While he also suggested that Payero would have featured had he been fit and that he should be set to return against Blackpool and get game time with him now getting up to speed.
He said: “James has hurt his thigh, but Martin [Payero] should be alright for Saturday. I’d have played Martin tonight. He would have played in that tonight because he’s getting up to scratch.”
It will be a bit of a concern that Lea Siliki appears to have potentially suffered a thigh injury following Boro’s win at Nottingham Forest but hopefully it is an issue that he can swiftly recover from.
The midfielder was able to deliver a decent enough display on his first league start for Middlesbrough and his performance outlined the qualities that he can bring to the side this term.
Warnock’s update on Payero is a lot more positive and suggests that we could now finally be set to see a lot more from the midfielder in the coming weeks now that he has had time to acclimatise to Boro’s demands.
The issue with his ankle might have prevented him from making an impact on the game at Nottingham Forest.
However, it seems that Warnock could now be ready to trust him to feature more prominently in the Championship starting with the game against Blackpool.
Payero will therefore need to be ready to show that he can be trusted to adapt to the Championship and impose his quality on the game for Boro when he is given a chance.