Mowbray admits injuries are a concern
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has admitted that the amount of injuries to his squad is a real concern, especially as they all seem to be picking up similar knocks.
Marvin Emnes missed the New Years Day defeat at Derby County with a hamstring injury, which meant that he joined Seb Hines, Andre Bikey, George Friend and Faris Haroun on the sidelines and all had problems with their hamstring.
Also, Jonathon Woodgate is suffering with a similar set-back from earlier in the campaign.
Mowbray said: "We are looking long and hard into why we have similar injuries to so many players. The workload they put in every week to achieve what they've done so far is possibly catching up with a few.
“A lot of the injuries are game injuries, things they've picked up in games, and sometimes it happens in football."
The Boro boss is now likely to head into the January transfer window and add a bit of strength in depth to his squad.
There is no doubting that they can finish in the top two this campaign, but a bit of luck is needed on the pitch in terms of players picking up injuries.
If Mowbray does good business in this window and then players come back from their knocks quickly, then Middlesbrough could really kick-on in 2013.
Another positive is that all of these injuries do seem to be of grade one stature, which means that the members of the squad should not be out for long.
It is FA Cup third round day on Saturday and Boro take on non-league Hastings United, so should have the luxury of being able to put out a weakened side and still progress to the fourth round.
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If that is the case and then Mowbray has a number of personal back for the next league game, as well as a couple of new faces, then it could be a superb few months for the club.