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Steele is satisfied with Boro squad
TONY MOWBRAY is still looking to strengthen his ranks before the transfer window closes on Monday, but Jason Steele believes the Middlesbrough squad has already proved it is strong enough should attempts to sign new players fail.
The Boro boss is pursuing a number of potential targets with two strikers and a central defender top of his list.
However, attempts to sign several players have faltered and a move for Norwich City’s Daniel Ayala now hangs in the balance after the defender indicated he isn’t keen to drop down from the Premier League.
Mowbray has other targets, though, and even if time is running out to get business done, the Boro boss isn’t going to rush into signing the wrong players.
He indicated after Sunday’s draw at Wigan that he is confident in the squad he has at the moment, and Steele, who returned from injury to play at the DW Stadium, believes the Boro boss already has a very strong starting XI.
“I think, looking at the side we had out against Wigan, we are a strong team without anymore new players, we showed we can hurt teams, but maybe a couple of players will give us just that little bit extra.
“We’re three games unbeaten and we probably should have won all three of them and they are games we probably would have lost in the second half of last season.
We’ve definitely shown we are a good team.
“We aren’t going to bow down to anyone. You come to places like Wigan and we’ve got no fear whatsoever. They won the FA Cup last year and it was always something to look forward to coming here and putting a show on and I think we looked a very good side and at times played some stuff they won’t have seen in this league yet.
“I don’t want us to get ahead of ourselves, I don’t want us to start saying we’re going to do this and that but we’ve got something to build on, and hopefully we can keep pushing on.”
Steele returned to action having missed the draw with Blackpool due to an ankle injury he sustained at Charlton, but the keeper revealed it wasn’t until late on when he discovered he was playing.
“I travelled on Saturday, but I didn’t know I was playing until two hours before kick-off. I always prepare properly. I trained and was fine so I told the manager and he picked me,” Steele explained.
“It was a little nasty injury.
I’ve had a problem with my ankles before.
“It’s called your peroneal tendon and I had a tear, which is especially nasty for a goalkeeper because it’s the muscle you use to get power in your leap from.
“It was really sore for a week or so.
“Friday morning I still wasn’t sure, but Saturday we changed something in my strap and I felt a lot better.”
Steele conceded twice on his return, but the Teessiders were unlucky not to win after dominating the FA Cup winners.
Mowbray’s shopping list may include a striker or two, but Steele insists Boro already have someone capable of leading the line in Lukas Jutkiewicz.
The former Coventry City man didn’t get on the scoresheet at Wigan, but Steele believes his performance proves he is good enough to wear the number nine shirt.
He said: “Lukas does not stop. I love playing with him.
I know if I hit it within five, ten yards he will bring it down and get others involved in play.
“He’s been brilliant and doesn’t half put a shift in. I think he’s shown how important he is for us.
“He’s got the number nine and he’s playing like an old fashioned number nine. He’s holding it up and letting the wingers do their thing. He’s been great so far.”
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