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Boro's McCormack hopes are fading
TONY MOWBRAY admits it is becoming more and more unlikely that he will be able to prise Ross McCormack away from Leeds United, but insists he hasn’t given up hope on signing the striker completely.
With seven days left until the transfer window closes, time is running out for Mowbray to bring in some much-needed firepower.
The Boro boss identified McCormack as someone he felt could give his squad that little bit extra earlier in the summer, but Leeds remain unwilling to do business.
The Scotland international’s early season form has made Brian McDermott even more determined to keep the striker and that was reaffirmed when McCormack scored and set another up in Leeds’ 2-1 over Ipswich Town on Saturday.
It is understood Boro will leave their offer on the table should Leeds change their mind, but the Northern Echo understands Mowbray is now focusing his search for a striker elsewhere.
Norwich City’s Luciano Becchio has been mentioned as has Malmo’s Tokelo Rantie, but a move for the latter is more likely to happen in January should Mowbray still need to strengthen then.
In the wake of his side’s 2-2 draw at Wigan yesterday, Mowbray appeared resigned to the fact he won’t be getting McCormack, but the Boro boss refused to rule out a move completely.
“It appears to me that every week Ross McCormack seems to score another goal and it might be difficult to prize him away from Leeds but we have tried,” the Boro boss said. “I have total respect for the club and if he stays good luck to him and good luck to them. I thought Jutkiewicz was tremendous and we’ll keep pushing on with what we’ve got until we can get someone else.
“I don’t think Leeds want to sell him. It has leaked out that we had an interest and that will be there if Leeds want to listen, but if not we will get on with our team building.
You’ve seen from the game we’ve got a decent team, but players will lose form, pick up injuries and you want to replace them with high quality footballers.
“There are lots of teams that have had investment and we’ve probably got to try and punch above out weight this season.”
After going behind to Grant Holt’s penalty, Boro battled back to take a second half lead when Grant Leadbitter scored after George Friend had equalised just before half time.
And it was only down to a clumsy error that the Teessiders didn’t return home with three points with Jordi Gomez lashing in an equaliser after Jonathan Woodgate had fouled Roger Espinoza.
Mowbray said: “I think on the balance of the game we’re a very disappointed dressing room. I genuinely can’t remember Steele making a save really and yet I’ve spoken to Scott Carson and he made six or seven really decent saves.
“We’re all disappointed but at the same time, this looks on paper a difficult fixture for us, but we came and did what we will do all year and that’s try to take the sting out of teams with the ball.
“There’s still lots to work on. The two wide players have got to understand what we want from them in the shape we play, but yes we’re disappointed not to come away with the win.
“Every now and then someone is going to miss control or turn into trouble and that happened. We gave a foul away, and sometimes you have to do that, but on the edge of the box it wasn’t a good foul and it cost us.
“There’s plenty of positives, though, and it would have been nice to win but I hope the supporters saw a team they think can go somewhere this season.”
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