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Varga set to miss Ipswich trip
MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray may be forced into a mini reshuffle for Saturday’s trip to Ipswich Town after Jozsef Varga was ruled out with a hip injury.
Varga sustained the injury in Hungary’s World Cup qualifier against Romania last Friday and didn’t feature in their second game against Estonia on Tuesday because of the problem.
The midfielder is due to return to Boro’s Rockliffe Park training base today, where the severity of his injury will be assessed by the club’s medical team.
Varga’s almost certain absence for this weekend’s trip to Portman Road is a huge blow for Mowbray, who has been pleased by the Hungarian’s performances following his arrival in the summer.
The 25-year-old has formed a good understanding with Dean Whitehead and Grant Leadbitter as part of a midfield three that has shown promise in the opening weeks of the season, but the Boro boss could be forced to change things around depending on who comes in.
New signing Jacob Butterfield could slot into midfield, but the former Norwich City man is short of match practice, while Richie Smallwood has failed to break into the first-team with Varga, Leadbitter and Whitehead all impressing.
Mowbray has had the luxury of fielding more or less the same startin XI in his side's opening five league games, but he could be forced to make a few changes this weekend.
Wide man Albert Adomah will also be assessed by Mowbray after his international duties involved flying to Ghana and then Japan with the 25-year-old not expected back on Teesside until later today.
Adomah has played in four of Boro’s five league games so far, but Mowbray is also making plans should he return showing signs of fatigue.
New striker Kei Kamara remains in Sierra Leone waiting for clearance to play for the Teessiders, but he is also a major doubt meaning Lukas Jutkiewicz is likely to continue leading the line.
Fellow new boy Butterfield has been able to train with some of his new team-mates since arriving on deadline day and the 23-year-old has been impressed by the club.
“There are some good players and a good atmosphere around the club,” Butterfield said. “I’ve played against Boro in the past and they were always a good team. They try to play in the right way and it suits me to be in a passing team with good footballers around me. Everything seems to fit in well from what I want from a club and I’m just happy to be there.
“You see everything around the club. It has massive potential, it’s already a Premier League club really. I’ve been there and this is far more impressive. I’ve got good experience in the Championship, I know what it takes to get promotion and I think the play-offs should be the least of our aims."
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