Ikpeazu and Payero are doubts for Boro as Warnock will break management record at Kenilworth Road

Duo expected to miss midweek clash

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 2:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 2:56 pm
Boro striker Uche Ikpeazu
Boro striker Uche Ikpeazu

MIddlesbrough boss Neil Warnick doesn’t expect either striker Uche Ikpeazu or midfielder Martin Payero to be fit for tonight’s trip to Luton Town.

Ikpeazu, who has scored twice in 14 games since his summer move from Wycombe in the summer, went off in the first half of Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Birmingham City, a game that Payero completed.

However, speaking to the club's official website, Warnock said: “Uche’s having a scan I don’t think he’ll be available.

“Martin isn’t training today either, I don’t think it’s a strain as much as fatigue.

"It’s a tough league to come into physically.

“We’ll give the lads as long as we can, we can train tomorrow morning before the game.”

Defender Anfernee Dijksteel is available again, but Warnock is not expecting any more returning to the squad at Kenilworth Road with Dael Fry, Grant Hall and Marc Bola still missing.

The game will also see the Middlesbrough boss break an English league management record with it being his 1,602nd match as manager of an English league club in domestic competition.

He started out at Scarborough back in 1987 and has gone on to manage another 12 clubs, achieving a record eight league promotions in that time too.

Warnock, who is yet to lose a league match against Luton in six previous attempts, added: "I'm very proud to have done this.

"I didn't think I would. I owe a lot to Steve Gibson (chairman), because I wouldn't have carried on in football if he hadn't made that phone call.

"I've enjoyed it here - you've got to enjoy it and get your fans to enjoy it while they can.

"That's why I've lasted so long, because I put more smiles on people's faces than gloomy looks.

"That's how I see life and how I see football."