Middlesbrough V Hastings Utd at The Riverside Stadium : Match Preview

04 January 2013 02:01
Middlesbrough V Hastings Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Selection worry for Boro

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will be without no fewer than 13 senior players for Saturday's FA Cup third round tie against Ryman Premier League Hastings.

Central defender Jonathan Woodgate (calf) and striker Scott McDonald (hamstring) became the latest to join the casualty list after Tuesday's 3-1 nnpower Championship defeat at Derby.

They have joined full-back Justin Hoyte (hip) and fellow defenders Seb Hines, Andre Bikey and George Friend (all hamstring), as well as midfielders Josh McEachran (ankle) and Faris Haroun (also hamstring), on the sidelines.

Mowbray has problems in attack too with Emmanuel Ledesma (knee) and Marvin Emnes (hamstring) also ruled out.

Long-term absentees Julio Arca (toe) and Muzzy Carayol and Curtis Main (both knee) are on the mend, but still some way away from rejoining their team-mates.

Hastings player-manager Sean Ray insists his side have no fear ahead of the trip to Middlesbrough on their FA Cup third-round debut.

The Arrows had only made one appearance in the first round of the competition before this season, a 1-0 defeat at Stevenage in 2002, but Ray says his team are ready for the biggest game in their history.

"There is a lot of pressure of course," he told Press Association Sport.

"This is a big deal for us. It's our first-ever appearance in the third round so we've had a lot of people wanting to talk to us. It's been nice, but it's also been pretty hectic.

"But the players have been fantastic. I've had no trouble with anyone, they've all stayed pretty grounded. At the end of the day this kind of thing doesn't happen all the time."

Ray could have a dilemma ahead of kick-off having confirmed he has a near fully-fit squad to choose from.

His only concern is over goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford, who has been struggling with a persistent knee problem, and Ray is keen to bring in a replacement before the game.

"We've actually been speaking to Newcastle this week about getting Jak Alnwick in on loan in time for the game. Nothing is confirmed yet but we're hopeful of sorting it before we travel."

Source: PA