Middlesbrough’s dismal second half performance on Saturday gave Coventry City a well deserved point.
The international break couldn’t come any sooner as fatigue set in on Boro’s seventh game in 21 days. There where a few culprits who looked disinterested in the second half, the main ones being Rhys Williams and Marvin Emnes.
Now that’s not me singling out players or pointing the finger it is just an observation of the need for these two players to have a rest. Williams has played eight games in twenty one days by racking up an appearance for his native Australia in the win over Wales and if it not for injury Scott McDonald would be in the same boat.
The worrying thing for Mowbray though is despite McDonald’s injury being a blessing in disguise as the international break approaches, Williams will be setting off today to meet up with the Australia squad to embark upon another pointless game for the Socceroos. Mowbray might find that his main centre midfield will come back with jet lag as well as fatigue.
The international break does no favours for a thin squad such as Middlesbrough’s as the man with the most energy at the moment could also come crashing to a halt, as Barry Robson has been called up for Scotland’s qualifier against the Czech Republic. If Robson isn’t involved again it will be another waste of Robbo’s time, but Mowbray will be secretly praying this is the case.
Emnes scored his seventh goal in seven games on Saturday, which is impressive, but fizzled out of the game in the second period. Since McDonald’s hamstring injury against Birmingham last week, Emnes has had to lead the line as the lone man in two games within four days. It took its toll on the Dutchman and he will be glad for the rest as McDonald will have recovered by then.
Saturday certainly reiterated the fact Boro need to bring in at least two strikers before Wednesday night. The reassuring thing is Mowbray is already on it, it is just our finances that are holding us back from finding the right man for the job. Hopefully by 11pm on Wednesday we will have a few acquisitions and Boro will be bright, breezy and ready to go come the away trip to Burnley, the last team to beat Boro some eleven games ago.
On a side note the irony is that we have let go a striker in Lee Miller who couldn’t hit a barn door while he was at the Riverside. He was sold to Carlisle in midweek – it is written in Boro law that he was bound to score on his debut – but he went one better and scored twice….you just can’t get the staff these days.
Written by Scott Easby, We Are Going Up’s Middlesbrough blogger
Scott tweets at @SEasby12