NEIL WARNOCK will spend the next few days attempting to strengthen his Middlesbrough attack after watching his side crash to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Watford in their opening game of the Championship season.

Craig Cathcart’s 11th-minute header settled things at Vicarage Road, with the centre-half outmuscling Grant Hall to score.

Boro were unable to convert the handful of half-chances that came their way, but Warnock struggled to change things in the second half as he was unable to name a single forward on the substitutes’ bench.

The Boro boss has pulled out of a proposed deal for free agent Yaya Sanogo as he is concerned about the former Arsenal striker’s fitness levels, but signing another forward remains a key priority.

“We’ve been close to doing something a few times,” said Warnock. “It would have been nice to have been able to change it with 20 or 25 minutes to go. We’re working hard to try to make something, I can’t fault that, and I’m sure something will drop in the next few weeks.”

Boro’s recruitment team have held a number of discussions with Sanogo and his representatives, but Warnock confirmed he has now drawn a line under his pursuit of the Frenchman.

“It won’t be happening,” he said. “It’s one of those things. It’s not going to be, and we move on. You get situations like that. We’ve still got other targets, and I’m hoping that Neil (Bausor) can get one or two over the line in the next few weeks.”

Boro did complete one piece of transfer business yesterday, with defensive midfielder Sam Morsy signing a three-year contract after moving from Wigan Athletic.

The 29-year-old captained Wigan to the League One title in the 2017-18 season, and won the Latics’ Player of the Year award in the Championship last term as they almost clawed back a 12-point deduction.

“We’re trying really hard to get a few in, and it was nice to get Sam in, he’s a good lad,” said Warnock. “We are short of options, so it’ll be nice to get him. He’s got good experience, and we had a very young side out there again tonight.”

Warnock felt his players had done enough to claim at least a point last night, but admitted they were punished for some lax defending.

“It was a Sunday League goal,” he said. “I don’t expect my sides to give a goal like that away.”