Mogga to go home-grown
Boro suffer McManus blow
Last Updated: November 9, 2010 10:43am
Mowbray: Backing talent
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is ready to go with a home-grown defence after Stephen McManus was sidelined.
McManus was forced off in the weekend's win over Crystal Palace after he went over his ankle.
The Scotland international has damaged ligaments and will now be sidelined for a number of weeks.
In his absence, Matthew Bates is ready to step into his more familiar central defence role, where he will line up alongside fellow academy graduates David Wheater, Tony McMahon and Joe Bennett with Jason Steele in goal - meaning their back five will all be home-grown for their match at Scunthorpe on Tuesday.
"It's not so good news. He went over on his ankle and twisted it," said Mowbray of McManus.
"I could see him wincing every time he played the ball so he was every bit the heroic skipper because he's been brave enough to carry on playing on it before we took him off.
"Stephen's injury is a blow, of course it is, but it is also an opportunity
for someone else.
"Matthew performed exceptionally well at the back.
"This is an opportunity for him to play alongside Wheater after coming through the ranks together. Let us hope they can rekindle what they had together in the youth team."
On fielding a home-grown defence, he said: "We have to judge them over the piece. You either sink or swim, just as I and we did back in the 80s."
Meanwhile, Mowbray has insisted he is full behind Kris Boyd despite taking him off at half-time against Palace.
"Kris needs support and I will give him as much as he needs," said Mowbray.
"I can't, though, stick the ball in the net for him. If chances drop he has to do that. He has to work hard, he is part of a team and while he is at Middlesbrough he has to show the supporters, his team-mates, the manager, that he has to work hard for this team.
"At Rangers it probably wasn't always the case because they would have so much of the ball that he could stand around the penalty box and smash it in when it came in to the penalty box. He is very talented at doing that.
"Until we get to the point where teams are afraid of us in this league, and teams are dropping off us, then he has to be part of a team and work hard.
"He is a very single-minded guy, he believes in his ability to finish. He does it every day in training.
"I'm pretty sure he is looking for the team to create more for him and we will work hard to do that.
"It is hard to knock his confidence and belief because he has done it for years now. We just hope this is a spell that we look back on as a relatively slow start, the only way to do that is to stick with him and give him some confidence and belief. Keep going."