CROSSLEY FIT TO FACE RED DEVILS
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The custodian was stretchered from the field of play at Anfield on Saturday, suffering a nasty facial injury following a clash with Liverpool midfielder Gary McAllister.
Crossley was taken to hospital, where he had eight stitches inserted in a facial wound.
It was feared he would be absent from the crunch Riverside encounter, but the former Nottingham Forest ace has handed Boro boss Steve McClaren a boost by declaring himself fit.
Speaking to Boro`s website, Crossley said: "I was lucky in a way I suppose, a couple of inches towards the eye and there would have been serious trouble.
"But, fortunately, I've got a big thick head and although I've got a nice scar there, the doctor did a fantastic job stitching it up, there's no problem.
"I don't hold anything against Gary, he had to go for it. I know him reasonably well and I know he's not that type of player anyway.
"It was a 50-50 ball which we both had to go for and, unfortunately, I came off worse.
"But there was no concussion and I am making myself available for the game against Manchester United."
The news is a boost to McClaren, as recognised Boro number one Mark Schwarzer is set to go under the knife to cure his hernia problem.
Meanwhile, Boro have scotched a report that claimed striker Noel Whelan had been placed on the transfer list.
A Sunday newspaper report claimed McClaren had circulated the former Leeds man`s name to other teams, but the Teesside outfit have rubbished the story.
"There is no truth in reports suggesting Noel Whelan has been transfer listed," said Boro spokesman Dave Allan.
Whelan has been sidelined since pre-season with a foot problem, but came through a recent reserve encounter and the club claim he will soon be pressing for a place in the team.