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Crosby voices Alves support
20 Mar 2008 - 14:17:51
Middlesbrough assistant manager Malcolm Crosby has admitted that injuries and illness have hindered record signing Afonso Alves at the start of his time in England.
The 27-year-old Brazil international has failed to find the net in seven appearances for Boro and is touch and go for the weekend clash with Derby County due to a hamstring problem.
Crosby told The Gazette: "I think the pace of the game and maybe the power in the Premier League players will take some time to get accustomed to.
"I think in Holland the game is played at a bit of a slower pace and I don't think it's as aggressive, so we have to give the lad time.
"Afonso's also come into the team at a difficult time. It will take him time and we have to give him a chance.
"If he'd come into the team and we were winning every game and were near the top of the league, then I think it would be a little different, but he's come into a team that's struggling against relegation if you like.
"He's a good finisher, has pace and is an intelligent runner off the ball.
"When he gets in the box he can finish and we've got to provide chances for him and I'm sure we will."