Robson backs Boro youngsters
Barry Robson believes Boro's renowned academy system will play a big part in next season's promotion push.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 05/05/11 2:22pm
Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson believes the club's renowned academy system will play a big part in their promotion push next season.
The Championship outfit have produced a string of exceptional youngsters in recent years, including England internationals Stewart Downing and Adam Johnson.
Boro have continued that tradition this season, with the likes of Joe Bennett, Jason Steele and Richard Smallwood impressing on Teesside.
Scotland international Robson says there are a lot more waiting for their chance to shine in the first team and that they could form the spine of next season's team.
"I think that we've got a duty to the fans to give 100% on Saturday and end the season on a high," Robson told skysports.com ahead of Boro's final game at home to Doncaster Rovers.
"It will be a perfect opportunity for the manager to take a look at a few of the fringe players and the youngsters that are coming through as well.
"Some of the young boys that have come through this season have done really well and I'm sure that he will blood a few more on Saturday that people haven't seen a lot of yet.
"There is a great tradition at this football club in bringing youngsters through the ranks and these kids could be key players for us next season.
"I think that it all depends on who we can keep hold of during the summer and who the manager can bring in to strengthen us.
"The manager has come in and done a tremendous job with us so far and players are starting to get back fit again, so hopefully we can keep most of the squad intact and add a couple to it for next year so that we can push on further up the table."
Boro have struggled this season, with Tony Mowbray unable to mount a serious bid for the top six after taking over from Gordon Strachan in October and Robson believes that the club's over-worked treatment table played a big factor in their mid-table finish.
He added: "I think that first and foremost we have had a horrendous year with injuries at the club, which hasn't helped.
"I don't like using that as an excuse, but it certainly hasn't helped us in any shape or form.
"I don't think that the previous manager got the chance to field his strongest XI at any time, so that must have been frustrating for him as well."