Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has revealed that striker Britt Assombalonga missed his side’s 1-0 win over Bristol City on Tuesday night due to an injury picked up in training earlier in the week.
Prior to the trip to Ashton Gate, Assombalonga had started all five of ‘Boro’s league games this season, but was absent as Warnock’s men made the long trip south, where George Saville’s goal eventually secured all three points for ‘Boro.
Speaking after the game about the reason for Assombalonga’s absence, Warnock told BBC Radio Tees: “It wasn’t the stiffness from the weekend, he actually picked up a little niggle yesterday and he wasn’t fit enough. We had to travel without him in the end.”
It now seems as though there is some concern over whether the striker will be available for the trip to Cardiff at the weekend, as Warnock went on to add: “It wasn’t a big one, but he’ll be touch and go for the weekend. It was enough to stop him running properly.”
Following their win at Ashton Gate, ‘Boro currently sit ninth in the Championship table, with nine points from six games so far this season.
This will be a big concern for those associated with Middlesbrough.
With Ashley Fletcher already facing several months on the sidelines through injury, this setback for Assombalonga could mean that summer signing Chuba Akpom is now the club’s only recognised striking option going forward.
As a result, you feel the pressure is now on ‘Boro more than ever to bring in the free-agent striker Warnock has previously talked about recruiting.
If they do not, then despite their encouraging start to the campaign, there is a risk the goals will dry up once more, and that could leave ‘Boro facing another season of looking over their shoulder at the Championship relegation zone.