sport

Mowbray set to turn to youth

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has challenged his young guns to fire the club firmly into the race for promotion to the Premier League.

Boro entertain Derby on Wednesday evening desperate to recover the ground they lost as a result of Saturday's 2-1 Championship home defeat by Leicester.

Lloyd Dyer's last-gasp strike condemned the Teessiders to a rare defeat as Nigel Pearson's men maintained their own early-season bid for a return to the top-flight, and Mowbray is desperate to hit back immediately by claiming three points against the Rams.

However, he will attempt to do so with injuries robbing him of pace, power and invention up front in the shape of Marvin Emnes, Ishmael Miller and Mustapha Carayol, and that could mean chances for the likes of 19-year-old Luke Williams and Argentinian Emmanuel Ledesma.

Mowbray said: "We have still got Luke Williams, young Ledesma, who joined us from Walsall in the summer, young players who have done well through pre-season and early season for us.

"Ledesma scored at Preston in the cup last week, Williams has scored a couple of great strikes for us already this year, so we have other options.

"[Lukas] Jutkiewicz is now back fit - he scored two against Blackburn - so it's not as if we are totally void of strikers, it's just the type of striker that's missing at the moment.

"The more dynamic, fast, direct strikers we have are unavailable at the moment.

"But we will look forward to Wednesday. Hopefully we can score a few goals and not concern ourselves too much about the players who are not available and keep working with the ones who are."

Mowbray, who will also be without experienced central defender Jonathan Woodgate, will send his team into battle with a buoyant Derby side after Sunday's 1-0 derby victory at Nottingham Forest.

The Rams will be without striker Jamie Ward who suffered a hamstring tear during the game at the City Ground and is expected to be sidelined for up to four weeks.

Forest have an early opportunity to bounce back from their disappointment in the all-East Midlands affair when they host managerless Blackburn.

Manager Sean O'Driscoll will be without suspended trio Dexter Blackstock, Simon Cox and Adlene Guedioura, but could hand a debut to loan signing Jermaine Jenas following his return to the club.

Rovers' caretaker manager Eric Black will include French defender Gael Givet in his squad after holding clear-the-air talks following the player's non-appearance for the second half of Saturday's 1-1 draw at Charlton.

Black told the club's official website: "Gael came and spoke to me and outlined the decisions surrounding it.

"I'm happy with what he had to say. He's been spoken to, he's spoken to the rest of the group, he accepts that what he has done was wrong.

"He's an emotional guy, he just wants to win. He's been dealt with internally and we move on. He's in the squad for tomorrow."