Tony Mowbray rues Middlesbrough’s injuries

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MIDDLESBROUGH striker Marvin Emnes is unlikely to be fit for tomorrow’s trip to Watford.

Tony Mowbray admits that injuries are the main reason his side have picked up just one point from their last two matches, both on home turf.

Boro squandered a 2-1 lead to draw with Derby County during the week having conceded a late goal to go down 2-1 to Leicester City last weekend.

That leaves the Teessiders 11th in the Championship table, three points adrift of play-off territory.

But Mowbray has bemoaned the loss of key players, including centre-back pairing Rhys Williams and Jonathan Woodgate.

“It seems to be the way it’s going for us at the moment,” said Mowbray.

“Both centre-halves who started the season are out. Emnes, Miller, Carayol, Reach and, after last night, Zemmama are all out.

“They are all attacking players, creative players and we lacked creativity and spark, something to get the crowd out of their seats.

“But the reality is those players are unavailable and the balance of the team isn’t right because of the injuries.

“There’s no disguising that, I fully understand that we don’t have any speed in the team, I’m not blind to that.

“The players that bring speed and mobility are unavailable. But you can’t go out and replace them because they will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

“When we get the balance of the team right you will see a difference in the performances.”

The gate for Wednesday’s visit of Derby – 13,377 – was the lowest-ever in the league at the Riverside.

And Mowbray admits it is a concern.

“Let’s not make any bones about it, the crowd’s been low all season,” he said.

“I’ve said since I’ve come here it’s disappointing to sit on that bench and see the empty seats.

“You search the reasons for that. Is it the lack of entertainment? Is it the financial thing?

“We won the first three (home) games of the season and I’d say the fourth game only had 14,000 here, or whatever it was, so I’m not sure it is the fact that we’re not winning because we were winning, we won three on the bounce, but was the crowd 20,000?

“No. So you’ve got to look deep into the reasons, I suppose, why the supporters are not coming.”