Boro plight forces out Kris

Last updated : 15 January 2011 By Northern Echo

Boyd made his first start since mid-November as Boro crashed out of the FA Cup at Burton last weekend, but is expected to return to the bench when the Teessiders travel to Bristol City this afternoon.

The Scotland international was supposed to provide the solution to Boro's goalscoring problems when he arrived on a free transfer from Rangers in the summer, but has scored just five times in the opening five months of the season.

On the occasions when he has not scored, the 27-yearold's one-dimensional style means he has contributed precious little to Boro's all-round play.

With his side scrapping for survival in the bottom half of the table, Mowbray admits there is no room for passengers, no matter how prolific they might have been in the past.

Kris Boyd has scored more goals than Henrik Larsson in Scottish football, but you have to put that in context, said the Middlesbrough manager.

In the SPL, the Old Firm generally camp around the opposition 18-yard box for 80 minutes of the game.

Kris waits around there for balls to come into the box, and to be fair to him, whenever I watch him in training he finishes with either foot. He has great technique and really smashes the ball in. But the predicament the club finds itself in at the moment is that we all have to work together to ensure we make ourselves a competitive team.

Ultimately, that means the team has to move up and down the pitch together and defend and attack as a unit.

Kris has found himself on the outside of the starting XI most weeks, generally because I need the strikers who play in this team to contribute when we don't have the ball. I've had these conversations with him and he understands our predicament.

If we were sitting in the top six, full of confidence with an understanding of how we move the ball around the pitch, then I think we would be able to utilise Kris's qualities and talents. But at this moment, he understands the predicament I have.

Having taken on Leeds and Norwich since the turn of the year both teams in the top five of the Championship table Boro now enter a run of games against sides in and around them in the lower reaches of the league.

However, such is the competitive nature of English football's second tier, Mowbray does not expect his side's task to get any easier.

Every game in this league is tight, but every game is an opportunity for three points,

he said. All the teams are pretty evenly matched. We've played teams in the top four or five in recent weeks, and feel disappointed that we didn't take maximum points.

We're coming into a run of games against teams at the bottom of the table Bristol City, Crystal Palace, Scunthorpe, Preston but I'm pretty sure they'll be just as tough as the games we've just had.

Hull have signed versatile Manchester United youngster Corry Evans on loan for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old Northern Ireland international, who can play in defence or midfield, has yet to make his senior bow for the Red Devils and has been a regular in the reserves.

Scunthorpe have completed a double swoop for Colchester centre-back Paul Reid and young Manchester City midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim.

Crystal Palace have signed ex-Hartlepool striker Jermaine Easter from MK Dons.

Source: Northern Echo

Source: Northern Echo