Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Venus rules out more loan signings as Hoyte nears Riverside exit
MIDDLESBROUGH caretaker manager Mark Venus has praised the immediate impact of Spanish defender Daniel Ayala, but admits the likelihood of adding further loan signings to his squad are slim, despite Justin Hoyte’s imminent move to Championship rivals Millwall.
Hoyte is training with the London-based club and is understood to be close to joining them on loan with a view to a permanent deal in January having failed to nail down a starting place this season.
The former Arsenal and Sunderland defender has started just one game for the Teessiders this season with Frazer Richardson and more recently Rhys Williams being the preferred options at right-back.
Ayala was brought in days after Venus was placed in charge following Tony Mowbray’s dismissal, and the 22-year-old has already shown exactly why the caretaker boss was keen to bring him to the Riverside.
The Norwich City defender was on Boro’s radar throughout the summer, but a move didn’t materialize until recently.
The defensive situation on Teesside has been a concern this season with the side having conceded 22 times in 14 games, but their backline has looked more solid in the two games Venus has overseen and the caretaker manager admits Ayala’s arrival has had something to do with it.
The former Liverpool defender has played alongside Jonathan Woodgate in both games he was played and Venus believes there has been an improvement at the back.
“They're two defenders who do their job and do all right,” Venus said. “Woody (Jonathan Woodgate) has a lot of experience and Daniel has come in with some size and scope. We know he still has to do certain things better, you can see that, but he's given us a bit of strength at the back, which is something we've probably needed.
He's got a real physical presence about him, and in the two games I've been in charge, we've defended all right.”
At 6ft 2, Ayala has already demonstrated the threat he can pose from set-pieces with a debut goal against Doncaster and Venus will hope for more of the same when the Teessiders welcome Watford to the Riverside on Saturday.
Prior to the defender’s arrival, Middlesbrough were crying out for some reinforcements, but Venus has revealed he doesn’t envisage anyone else signing until a permanent manager is appointed.
He said: “I think everyone has to take an evaluation. Everyone would like new players and to improve the squad as they go along, but at the moment I have to work with what we have.
“These players have enough ability to get a lot of points in this league.”
Venus has been told to continue as usual in the run up to Watford’s visit and it isn’t likely a new manager will be appointed until after the weekend when another two-week international break sets in.
Chairman Steve Gibson is keen to assess all options available to him and the upcoming break will provide him with the perfect time to close in on his top targets.
Venus still remains the favourite to take over from Mowbray on a permanent basis and it is also understood Gibson is keen to give the former number two plenty of chances to impress.
Comments are closed on this article.