Mowbray defends out-of-form Boyd

Last updated : 24 January 2011 By BBC Sport

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has defended Kris Boyd after the striker was the subject of fans' criticism in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Preston.The out-of-form summer signing was substituted on 62 minutes by Marvin Emnes after extending his run without scoring to 10 Championship games.

"He's giving it his very best shot," Mowbray told BBC Tees. "But goals have been hard to come by for him.

"Things aren't falling his way, but it's not through a lack of desire."

Boyd has hit just five goals in 26 games since his high-profile summer move.

And Mowbray adds: "He's got to get his head down and continue to work hard.

"But what I will say in his defence is that he's generally the last one off the training ground every day.

"He's practising his finishing, he asks for more work and, when he's finished, he gets on a treadmill and does some extra work."

The Teessiders were forced to reshuffle their side following the departure of centre-back David Wheater to Bolton last week. And Mowbray is determined to ensure that another academy graduate Andrew Taylor is retained when his contract expires in the summer.

"He's got an assurance about him," added Mowbray, "a quality with the ball at his feet, and my preference would be that he signs a longer deal with us.

"He's in the same situation as David Wheater was. He's been away on loan at Watford, and he's got decisions to make.

"The player has the power, but I would like him to stay."

Meanwhile Mowbray is continuing to monitor the foot injury picked up by midfielder Barry Robson in Saturday's Riverside stalemate.

The 31-year-old Scotland international was withdrawn at half-time after tussling with Preston midfielder Billy Jones, to be replaced by Julio Arca.

"He's got a gaping hole in his foot at the moment and had stitches at half-time," said Mowbray. "It looked a bad injury. Let's hope it was superficial."

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport