Southgate to turn to Craddock
Gareth Southgate admits he has few qualms about handing a full debut to Tom Craddock this weekend.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 05/10/07 5:40pm
Gareth Southgate admits he has few qualms about handing a full debut to Tom Craddock as Middlesbrough's striking crisis shows few signs of abating.
Whilst Boro insist that there is still a chance Tuncay Sanli and Mido could be fit to face Manchester City on Sunday, South Korean Lee Dong-gook has also picked up an injury.
"Dong Gook has a slight problem with his back which we'll look at in the next 24 hours," said Southgate.
"Mido looks like he'll struggle for the weekend but we've still got 48 hours.
"Tuncay has trained extensively with the medical team, he'll train with us and with the pair of them we will make an assessment on Saturday and Sunday.
"But if they don't train Saturday, they won't be included."
Southgate now admits youngster Craddock - the latest product of Boro's highly acclaimed Academy - could start.
"Tom's a good finisher, he's scored goals on a regular basis for the reserves and his movement is very good," he said.
"He started as a defender in the Academy, moved up front and has prospered from that.
"He's got a terrific attitude to the game, he's got an edge to him and he wants to do well and it's a bonus for him to get the chance he's having at the moment.
"This could be another opportunity for him.
"We've got an idea of the team we want to play, we've had a look at things in training this week and I don't think we would change that too much before the weekend."
One change to Southgate's squad has come in the goalkeeping department as he has been forced to recall Ross Turnbull from his season-long loan deal at Cardiff City after Brad Jones damaged his thigh.
"He hasn't played in the last three games for Cardiff, which makes the decision to recall him easier," said Southgate.
"Ideally we would have left him there but he's our player and Dave Jones has kindly accepted that."
Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that they are allowing Andrew Davies to talk to a couple of Championship clubs - Hull and Norwich - about a prospective loan move.
"A couple of clubs have been in for Andrew and he's intimated that he would like the opportunity to speak to them," said Southgate.
"The scenario would be a loan with a deal agreed for January."