Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Mowbray in the dark about signing situation
A FRUSTRATED Tony Mowbray admits he does not know whether Middlesbrough are any closer to making the additions he feels are required to enable the club to mount a viable promotion challenge this season.
The weaknesses within the current Boro squad were clear to see at the weekend as Leicester City overcame a half-time deficit to claim a deserved 2-1 victory at the Riverside.
Sean St Ledger's first-half own goal handed Boro the advantage, but second-half strikes from Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy ensured that Mowbray is still to win an opening-day fixture during his tenure as Middlesbrough boss.
Despite the departure of 11 senior members of last season's first-team squad, the Teessiders have added just three players to their ranks, one of whom, Frazer Richardson, was not even eligible for Saturday's game.
Boro have been tracking a number of players in recent weeks, but moves for Eduardo Vargas, Vitor and Albert Adomah have all failed to come to fruition.
A deal was close to being agreed for Adomah on Friday morning, only for Boro's negotiating team to be unable to agree a payment schedule with the Bristol City board for an agreed fee of around £1m, and Mowbray admits he does not know if the situation has changed over the weekend.
“I honestly don't know where we are at the moment to be honest,” said the Boro boss. “I'm not the guy having the discussions. I did speak to their manager, Sean (O'Driscoll), once or twice about things, but generally transfers or discussions on players move to a different level once managers have spoken.
“I don't know where it's at, at the moment. But what I do know is that we are in need of some reinforcements. It's been going on a while and we're all a bit frustrated.”
Adomah was left out of the Bristol City squad for their opening-day draw with Bradford City, and there is a chance of a deal being agreed this week.
However, there is now the added complication of interest from elsewhere, with Wigan Athletic understood to have made contact with Bristol City officials after having two bids rejected at the start of the summer.
At this stage, Wigan are not believed to have matched Boro's total offer for Adomah, but the Latics are in a position where they can offer a much higher initial payment, something that appeals to officials at Ashton Gate.
Boro continue to track alternative attacking options, although it is extremely unlikely that anyone will be in place before Accrington Stanley travel to Teesside for tomorrow's Capital One Cup first-round tie.
“We've had lots of conversations and we would have hoped to have had some more players in by now,” said Mowbray. “It hasn't been the case, but it's not for the lack of trying. There are offers on the table for players.
“The clubs haven't turned those down, but they're making their own decisions about players and talking at their boardroom level. I'm hoping in the next week or so we will get some reward for the efforts of what's going on behind the scenes.
“Within the group, it's difficult when you turn around and you don't see an out-and-out centre-forward tearing his shirt off ready to go on and make a difference, and prove to you that he should have started the game.
“That's football, and we're working hard to improve the numbers and the squad. Hopefully, we'll do that before the end of this window.”
Richardson's arrival was confirmed on Friday evening, with the 30-year-old having signed a one-year deal with the option of a one-year extension next summer.
He is unlikely to be involved in tomorrow's League Cup tie, however, with Justin Hoyte set to replace Stuart Parnaby at right-back.
“He's a guy who's been on our training ground for the last couple of weeks,” said Mowbray. “Everybody is hugely impressed with his approach to the game and the qualities he brings. He's a real man about the building and has an assertiveness, strength and power about him.
“He's a guy who's won promotion out of this league in the past and I just thought he could add to the group and bring a bit of experience to it. He can cover anywhere across the back four and hopefully he will force his way in. I'm delighted he's here because of his drive, personality and passion for the game.”
Comments are closed on this article.