Middlesbrough boss, Neil Warnock, has revealed that he’s still cautious over Ashley Fletcher and Grant Hall as both return to contention after long-term injury setbacks.
Fletcher has returned to action for Boro over the last four fixtures, but has managed only limited minutes after a hamstring injury he picked up in the early weeks of the season.
After a calf injury, Hall has been on the bench in Boro’s last three fixtures but hasn’t had the handful of minutes Fletcher has.
For Warnock, he’s admitted that their period of time on the sidelines means he’s having to be cautious with the pair despite their availability.
As per Hartlepool Mail, Warnock said: “They are available now but they’ve been out for such a long time both of them.
“Whatever decision you make you are crossing your fingers all the time, I’m doing that with a few players at the moment because we will have more injuries.”
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Warnock’s side have lost three of their last four fixtures in the Championship, which has left them five points adrift of the play-off places heading into this weekend.
However, this week they’ve got a presentable opportunity in the form of a Saturday-Tuesday schedule that sees them face struggling Derby County and Huddersfield Town.
Warnock is right to be cautious with both Fletcher and Hall.
They are going to be hugely important players for Boro in the run-in this season and, given they’ve had months on the sidelines, they need to be managed properly.
Asking them to return ahead of schedule would be a really poor move and giving them too much to do so soon could land them a setback.
Give them time, drip them minutes and ensure they are back as fit as possible for the run-in.
Thoughts? Let us know!