MIDDLESBROUGH are set to be without key players Jonathan Woodgate and Marvin Emnes for tomorrow’s trip to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup.
Striker Emnes was taken off half way through the first half in Saturday’s come-from-behind win against Bolton with a hamstring injury, while centre-half Woodgate failed a late fitness test before the game having struggled with a thigh problem.
Manager Tony Mowbray said: “We’re frustrated Jonathan didn’t make it. He trained on Friday and when we did our work on the shape and organisation of the team, he was in the side.”
Both players are now set to miss the game at the Stadium of Light tomorrow, with a view to being available for Boro’s Championship trip to Charlton on Saturday – though Emnes will be assessed today and could face a longer lay-off.
Boro will go into tomorrow’s derby against Sunderland in good spirits after sealing a fourth successive win on Saturday.
The home side dominated the early exchanges and went close as a Grant Leadbitter strike sent goalkeeper Adam Bogdan full-length to save. Ishmael Miller then nodded wide from close range before sending a dipping shot inches over.
Bolton were screaming for a penalty when Chris Eagles went sprawling after minimal contact from an Andre Bikey tackle but instead the wideman was booked for diving.
Bolton got the opener on 42 minutes as the ball ricocheted off Faris Haroun to the feet of unmarked Lee Chung-yong and he slotted home.
The Korean should have sealed it two minutes later as Bikey made a hash of a simple clearance leaving Lee free in the box but he blazed over.
After the break Boro bossed matters for long spells but struggled to find a clear sight of goal until they levelled on 67 minutes, Scott McDonald stabbing in the rebound after a Miller shot was saved.
Then after a string of chances went begging McDonald got his and Boro’s second, steering home a glancing header from an inviting cross from the right from Emmanuel Ledesma.
Mowbray said: “I was pleased at half-time despite the Bolton goal because of the application, the attitude and the chances we had created.
“I was even more pleased because the atmosphere in the dressing room at half-time was very positive. We all felt that if we could create and score the next goal then we could go on and win it and so it proved.”
The Boro boss now has his eyes on cup progress at Sunderland.
“Sunderland will be a difficult game, we know that. They had a great result away at Stoke because that is a tough place to go.
“They showed how hard-working they are, and so we will have to be at our best. They will fancy it on the day. They are at home and up against a team from a lower league, so they will start as favourites.
“However, we will go there and try to do what we have been doing and try to win the game.
“We will look to make the game tight for long periods and look to create chances and try to take one and maybe sneak something.
“We go there with a bit of momentum, good form and thinking we can cause them problems.”
Middlesbrough: Steele, Parnaby, Hines, Bikey, Friend, Haroun, Leadbitter, McEachran (Halliday 87), Reach (Ledesma 46), Miller, Emnes (McDonald 22). Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Smallwood, Bailey, Hoyte. Goals: McDonald 67, 85.
Bolton: Bogdan, Mears (Ngog 87), Ricketts, Ream, Warnock, Eagles, Mark Davies (Pratley 77), Lee, Spearing, Petrov (Afobe 65), Kevin Davies. Subs Not Used: Lynch, Mills, Andrews, Riley. Booked: Kevin Davies, Eagles. Goals: Lee 42.
Att: 16, 200 Ref: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).