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Mowbray steps up centre-half search after Williams suspension
MIDDLESBROUGH will not appeal Rhys Williams' red card which has handed Tony Mowbray a defensive headache ahead of his side's visit to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
Centre-half Williams will serve a one-match suspension for hauling down Wes Thomas during Saturday's 3-3 draw against Bournemouth, and with Seb Hines slowly returning from injury, Ben Gibson appears to be Mowbray's only choice for centre-half.
George Friend or Frazer Richardson could come inside with Justin Hoyte able to play either full-back role, but Mowbray is reluctant to make two changes in defence and may turn to the loan market to fill that gap at Loftus Road.
While Mowbray was previously reluctant to dip his toes into temporary transfers, Williams' needless dismissal has forced his hand, with Norwich City outcast Daniel Ayala – who Boro tried to sign in the summer – heading up the Teessiders' wishlist.
"We have to do something and the players know that," said Mowbray, who brought Gibson on for the final five minutes against the Cherries. "The team deserve better than losing two or three goals every week.
"It's not a tactical thing, individuals have to stop playing their part in costing us goals. Maybe we need more competition in the defensive areas.
"We did try to do that in the last window but for a few reasons we didn't get that done.
"Seb's still a little bit away and Ben did well when he came on. We could throw Ben in and see how he does, but in my mind a player with slightly different attributes would be more beneficial to the team.
"It's not a panic because Ben could do the job, he's a very talented young man. Yet it might be a massive ask for instance, to go to QPR with all their Premier League payers, such as Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson.
"We'll have to see what this week brings, we'll have a look and see what's available and see if we think there's a player there who can help us do the job and stop conceding the type of goals we've conceded."
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