No panicking here, insists Mowbray

The Northern Echo: DESPAIRING DIVE: Jason Steele is unable to get to Jeff Hendrick’s strike which flies into the top corner as Boro lost 3-1 DESPAIRING DIVE: Jason Steele is unable to get to Jeff Hendrick’s strike which flies into the top corner as Boro lost 3-1

TONY MOWBRAY will not be forced into making panic buys in the January transfer window after two more players succumbed to injury during yesterday’s disappointing defeat to Derby County.

Mowbray already had a growing injury list prior to the game, but Jonathan Woodgate limped off before half-time and Scott McDonald was forced to sit out the second half.

The Boro boss revealed his captain was complaining of a tight calf and said doctors will assess the problem in the coming days, while McDonald also came off complaining of a muscle problem.

George Friend, Marvin Emnes, Justin Hoyte and Josh McEachran all missed yesterday’s defeat and their absence showed as Boro went down 3-1 in one of their worst performance of the season.

“I don’t feel anymore pressure to get someone in,”

Mowbray said. “I think the injuries are all grade 1s and fatigue injuries.

“No-one’s had a sprint injury and ripped a hamstring, which would mean six to eight weeks out.

“Everybody is two to three weeks maximum.” “It’s tiredness that has caused tiny little ruptures, but there’s no panic and thankfully now there’s a little break from the league programme.

“We can give a few players a rest this weekend and hopefully when we return to league action we’ll be in better shape.”

After digesting yesterday’s dreadful display, Mowbray will begin to prepare his fit players for the FA Cup third round tie against minnows Hastings at the Riverside on Saturday.

The Boro boss will want to move on quickly from the defeat at Pride Park, in which goals from Michael Jacobs, Jeff Hendrick and Connor Sammon gave Nigel Clough’s side three points.

It was clear from the early stages at Pride Park that it wasn’t going to be Boro’s day and ultimately Derby deserved to win the game with a far superior performance.

They were first to every ball, fast when attacking and clinical with their finishing.

Everything Boro weren’t.

“They’re an energetic, young, athletic side and they proved that today,” Mowbray said. “We didn’t start well.

You go one down after 19 minutes and it had been coming for most of that.

“We didn’t really get out the blocks but we give them some credit. They put us on the back foot and we didn’t really recover. We talked about getting the next goal after half time but we didn’t. We didn’t get to the level we know we can.”

Boro have 11 first team players currently nursing injuries and Mowbray was forced into making three changes for yesterday’s game.

The Boro boss didn’t want to use his long injury list as an excuse, but admitted it was beginning to catch up with his squad.

After Saturday’s cup tie, Boro return to league action with a home game against Watford and Mowbray hopes a lot of his injured players will be available by the time that game comes around.

He said: “Sometimes it catches up with you when you make too many changes, but they were enforced changes I had to make.

“We couldn’t get to the speed of it but hopefully we will put it behind us quickly and we can try and get a few players back for the next game.

“I’m not here to make excuses really and yet I’ll let other people go away and look at the ones that weren’t available today.”

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