Middlesbrough’s Tony Mowbray eyes Fuller boost after surviving cup challenge

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TONY Mowbray has been highly active in the shopping market during the summer.

And the Middlesbrough boss has not ruled out further signings before the transfer window closes at the end of the month – with free agent ex-Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller the latest striker to be linked.

That comes despite seeing Boro open their competitive programme by winning Saturday’s Capital One Cup clash at Bury.

Mowbray’s side comfortably secured their passage to round two thanks to goals from Marvin Emnes and new signing Emanuel Ledesma.

“It’s all right,” Mowbray said.

“But I sat there at the end and thought ‘it’s still a bit young and inexperienced around the top end of the pitch’.

“We’ll try to address that if we can. We do have experience elsewhere. We’ve got something to build on and some scope still to work over the next few weeks.”

Victory was a boost for Mowbray, who added: “It was a tough start to the season and you’d have to say Bury played well. They’ve got some good footballers and asked some questions of us. Concentration, apart from one occasion from a corner kick, was good.

“We looked solid enough and were always a threat going the other way.

“It was a bit uncomfortable in the last 15 minutes, but in cup competitions you have to get through and we got by a difficult obstacle.

“Marvin has the ability to score goals.

“We’ve talked to him about not over-elaborating around the box and to shoot when he gets the chance.

“He did and it flew in.”

Mowbray handed competitive debuts to summer arrivals George Friend, Grant Leadbitter, Mustapha Carayol and Ledesma, while old boy Jonathan Woodgate also lined up in the centre of defence alongside new skipper Rhys Williams.

Leadbitter was denied an early goal by ex-Sunderland clubmate Trevor Carson’s diving one-handed save, the midfielder having been set up by the lively Ledesma.

But Leadbitter played a key role in the opener on 33 minutes. His quickly-taken free-kick gave Emnes space to rifle an unstoppable 20-yarder past Carson in the bottom right-hand corner.

Ledesma then had a 30-yarder saved by Carson.

Boro threatended again when Ledesma had a shot blocked after being played in by Kevin Thomson.

However, the Teessiders eventually extended their lead an hour in, Ledesma slamming home from close range after Carson had spilled Nicky Bailey’s effort.

Bury replied within three minutes, Mark Hughes heading home from Steve Schumacher’s corner.

Boro almost added a third, but sub Adam Reach saw his shot rebound off the inside of the post.

Efe Sodje was sent off in injury time to compound Bury’s woes following a clattering challenge on sub Luke Williams.

BURY: Carson, A Jones, Sodje, Hughes, Skarz, Sweeney, Schumacher, Carrington (Marshall 64), Worrall, Bishop (John-Lewis 77), Elford-Alliyu (Cullen 68). Subs not used: Belford, Picken, Lockwood, C Jones. Sent Off: Sodje (90). Goal: Hughes 64

MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Hoyte, R Williams, Woodgate, Friend, Bailey, Thomson, Leadbitter, Carayol (Reach 46), Ledesma (L Williams 63), Emnes. Subs not used: Ripley, McManus, Halliday, Main, Park. Goals: Emnes 33, Leadbitter 61

Att: 2,964. Ref: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire)