Tony Mowbray’s hoping luck holds up next season

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BE lucky!

That was Tony Mowbray’s end-of-season message to Middlesbrough fans in the club’s programme before he watched his side demolish Doncaster Rovers on Saturday but the statement could echo his own hopes for the summer.

Boro will need their fair share of the rub of the green if they want to keep up their recent good run under Mogga, which has seen just one defeat in 12 games.

The books will need to be balanced while Premier League vultures circle – with Rhys Williams the first to be given a go around the rumour mill.

Frustratingly the players most likely to be at the centre of bids are not the ones on big bucks but the latest products from the club’s successful academy.

Seven of the 14 players involved in the weekend’s 3-0 win had come through the club, with the latest debutant, 18-year-old Adam Reach, even bagging himself a last-minute goal, with a calm side footed finish after being put through by Kevin Thomson.

That added to efforts from Barry Robson and Leroy Lita.

Mowbray vowed to fend off any bids for his kids and build his team on these starlets who have helped his side secure an unlikely top-half finish after spending most of the term fighting relegation.

“They are real talents who are comfortable with the ball and brave too,” said Mowbray.

“They didn’t look out of place on the pitch and played their roles in what was in the end a comfortable win.”

He added: “I will get phone calls from other managers over the summer and I don’t mind that because it means that they are good players that other people want.

“I would be a bit disappointed if other teams didn’t want them.

“But I must stress that I am under no pressure whatsoever from the club to sell any of our younger talented players.

“I know there has been speculation in the papers over some of them but I want them here at this club and I have told them that.”

MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Hoyte, McManus, Rhys Williams, Taylor, Thomson, Smallwood (Park 72), Robson (Reach 53), McDonald (McMahon 59), Lita, Emnes. Subs not used: Smith, Kink, Halliday, Luke Williams. Goals: Robson 43, Lita 66, Reach 90.

DONCASTER: Sullivan, O’Connor, Thomas, Kilgallon, Dumbuya (Martis 75), Wilson, Gillett (Shiels 70), Oster, Moussa (Sharp 61), Euell, Hayter. Subs not used: Maxted, Hird, Lucas, Husband. Booked: Sharp, Wilson. Att: 19,978. Ref: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).