Date: 18th February 2013 at 3:52pm
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Manager Tony Mowbray says his side are continuing to pay a heavy price for missing key defenders following Middlesbrough’s six defeat in seven league games at the weekend.

Boro were without leading trio Justin Hoyte, Jonathan Woodgate and Seb Hines while crashing 4-1 at promotion rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday. As a result Mowbray was forced to move left-back George Friend across into central defence with winger Andy Halliday coming in out wide.

“To lose three at Derby, four at Ipswich and then four again at Palace, it’s a worry,” Mowbray confessed to the Northern Echo. “Yet there are personnel reasons. I could give you our first-choice back four, and at the minute, you’d have to say that three of them aren’t playing. That’s football and you have to get on with it.

“The squad is only ever as strong or as weak as the numbers underneath what you would call the first XI,” he added. “If we’ve got Hoyte, Woodgate and Hines injured, you have to take it on the chin and get on with it.”

None of the sidelined trio were expected to recover in time for the trip to Burnley tomorrow evening.

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