Middlesbrough’s Mowbray eyes striking boost

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TONY Mowbray is hopeful of strengthening his attacking options after a disappointing opening-day Championship defeat for Middlesbrough.

Boro led visitors Leicester on Saturday before succumbing to a 2-1 Riverside defeat to two goals in seven second-half minutes.

Mowbray said: “We’ve been trying for a few weeks now and it’s not easy when you haven’t got a centre-forward on the bench who thinks he should be playing and is ready to rip his tracksuit off and come on and show you that he should have been starting.

“But hopefully we’ll rectify that and create some competition in the next few weeks. We will try to strengthen in a few areas of the pitch before the window shuts.

Missed opportunities just before the break cost the Teessiders.

Boro broke to take the lead after 35 minutes as Mustapha Carayol curled a cross to the near post and Riverside old boy Sean St Ledger, under pressure from Jutkiewicz, got a glancing header at the near post that squeezed in for an own goal.

Boro missed a golden chance to double the lead in first-half stoppage time when Marvin Emnes got free in the box but failed to slot home, before ex-Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter lashed in a shot that was well saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

The Foxes came roaring back after the interval with goals from Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy, and they could easily have had more in a second 45 minutes that was a reverse of the first.

“You have to say that the chance for Emnes just before the break was pivotal,” said Mowbray, whose men are back in action at home to Accrington Stanley in the Capital One Cup tomorrow night.

“If we could have got 2-0 up at that stage then it would have been a long way back for Leicester on a hot day. We didn’t and we are very, very disappointed with that.

“But the bottom line is that you have to take those chances. We said it so many times last season that you have to close out games when you are are on top.

“We played really well in the first half. We had a good shape, we passed the ball around well and we created chances. We made good decisions in key areas.

“It’s early doors, there’s a long way to go and hopefully we’ll get back on track on Tuesday night.”

MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Parnaby (L Williams 82), Friend, Whitehead, R Williams, Woodgate, Carayol (Haroun 61), Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz, Emnes, Varga. Subs not used: Hoyte, Ledesma, Gibson, Leutwiler, Smallwood. Booked: Carayol. Goal: Jutkiewicz 35

LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, St Ledger, Morgan, Whitbread (Moore 19), James, Drinkwater, Vardy, Wood (Nugent 62), King. Subs not used: Marshall, Dyer, Waghorn, Schlupp, Logan. Goals: Drinkwater 60, Vardy 67

Att: 17,223. Ref: Andrew Madley (W Yorks).