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Aliadiere back in a Boro shirt for reserves
Published : 14 Dec 2010 17:49:02
JEREMIE Aliadiere made an hour-long appearance for Middlesbrough reserves this afternoon, fuelling speculation he is about to sign a short-term contract with the club. Craig Lynch scored the only goal of the game as Sunderland's second-string secured a narrow League Cup victory at the Riverside, but the most notable feature of the match was the involvement of Aliadiere. The striker became a free agent when his previous Boro contract expired in the summer, but damaged his posterior cruciate ligaments while attempting to secure a deal with West Ham. Boro gave him permission to complete his rehabilitation at the club's Rockliffe Park training ground, and since returning to fitness, he has taken part in a number of training sessions involving the first-team squad. Yesterday was his first run-out in a Boro shirt since he started the final game of last season at Leicester, and Tony Mowbray must now decide whether to offer him a contract until the end of the season. The 27-year-old was jettisoned by Mowbray's predecessor, Gordon Strachan, but his pace and creativity could aid the Teessiders' attempts to clamber away from the relegation zone at the foot of the Championship. He was not the only player returning to the fold today, as he was replaced on the hour mark by Jonathan Franks, who was making his first appearance since undergoing back surgery in the summer. Franks, who made 24 senior appearances in his breakthrough year last season, will be eased back into action over the course of the next month. Danny Coyne, Luke Williams, Andy Halliday and Tarmo Kink also featured in an experienced Boro side, but the hosts were beaten by a Sunderland line-up boasting similar strength. South American trio Paulo Da Silva, Marcos Angeleri and Cristian Riveros all started for the Wearsiders, who claimed victory thanks to Lynch's close-range strike. MIDDLESBROUGH: Coyne, Shead, Otte, Smallwood, Oliver (Park 26), Weldon, Williams (Gray 70), Halliday, Kink, Aliadiere (Franks 60), Tavares. SUNDERLAND: B Wilson, Angeleri, Adams, N Wilson (Reed 20), Da Silva, Madden, Cooke (Liddle 84), Riveros, Fletcher, Lynch (L Noble 88), Luscombe.