Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis feels that his team’s inability to secure a signing on the transfer deadline day has left them in a weakened state.
While they didsign midfielders John Obi Mikel and Rajiv van la Parra in the January transfer window, Boro were unable to add to their options on the final day.
And with Boro currently sitting 5th place in the Championship, with just 7 points separating them from 2nd place Norwich City while also having a game in hand, Pulis was disappointed that the club didn’t do more to land his targets.
“I think everybody around the club will be disappointed,” said Pulis in a press conference on Friday.
“There’s no hiding the fact there were players we wanted to bring in who we haven’t been able to bring in.”
Pulis was also unhappy that even in those positions where he had tried to strengthen for more than a year, the club made no effort to bolster his options.
“There are areas I’ve wanted to strengthen for 13 or 14 months and we’ve not been able to do that.”
“It’s been a window where in some respects it’s made the team weaker than stronger.”
Pulis didn’t blame Boro chairman Steven Gibson, though, as he credited him for the “extraordinary” work he has done for the club.
“I’ve got to say two things: I think the club has got an exceptional person in charge in Steve,” said Pulis “The money and what he’s done is extraordinary.”
“For one individual to back the club the way he has, there’s no criticism whatsoever in that area.”
In addition to failing in their pursuit to acquire Jacob Murphy on loan from Newcastle, Boro were also unable to offload the surplus-to-requirements Stewart Downing.
That means that if Downing plays another game for the club, a contractual stipulation will land him a contract extension, further burdening the already strained finances of Boro.