Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has suggested that the club are going to need much more of a rebuild in the transfer market than he was anticipating after Boro’s poor run of form over the last few weeks.
Warnock’s side have seen their campaign fizzle out in the Championship somewhat having failed to win five out of their last seven league matches. That has seen Boro drop out of the race for the play-off places and now have to be content with a solid top-half finish. It will therefore be vital that they make the right additions to the squad in the summer to improve enough for a promotion push.
It has been reported by the Northern Echo that all three of Yannick Bolaise, Neeskens Kebano and Marcus Bettinelli look unlikely to be returning to the Riverside next term now after the end of their loan spells. That would leave Warnock needing to make more signings in their positions to replace them, as well as targeting additions elsewhere in the squad.
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Speaking to the Northern Echo, Warnock revealed he is now planning to make more adjustments to the squad in a greater number of areas than he had been anticipating only a few weeks ago.
He said: “I’ve been quoted as saying that I’ve only got minor adjustments to make, but I think that’s changed quite a lot. I think we require quite a few in the summer.
“That’ll probably change some of the columns that I’ve read about the minor adjustments – I agree that I’ve got to look seriously now at a number of areas where I think we’ve got to improve. I’d have to say it’s a bigger job that I initially thought. It’s probably more than I thought eight or nine weeks ago.”
This update shows just how frustrated Warnock has been with the way Middlesbrough’s form and inability to grind out results has somewhat disappeared over the last few weeks at a crucial stage in the campaign. It is not something he will be prepared to let happen again next term and he clearly thinks he needs more new players to prevent that from happening.
Boro certainly have to add to their attacking options and that was already evident, but they now might need to do more surgery to the squad in the wide positions than was expected. That is because there might have been hopes for a return of Bolasie and or Kebano. That now seems unlikely after this latest update.
Replacing those players and bringing in targets in other areas is not going to be an easy task in what is a very challenging transfer market. However, Warnock is remaining positive that he will be backed to do what he needs to do within the constraints of their budget. There is still then reasons to be optimistic for Middlesbrough fans.