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Mowbray has options after Carayol blow
TONY MOWBRAY is in no rush to hit the loan market after learning Middlesbrough will be without speedy winger Mustapha Carayol for the rest of the year.
Carayol has been told to have surgery on the hyper-extended knee injury he first picked up at Gillingham in the Capital One Cup last month.
And Mowbray confirmed last night that the £300,000 signing from Bristol Rovers could be sidelined for up to five months in his first season on Teesside .
But rather than look immediately to bring in a short-term replacement to bolster his attacking options, the Boro boss is keen to give his other players a greater chance to shine first.
Luke Williams, Adam Reach, Emmanuel Ledesma, Merouane Zemmama and Marvin Emnes are all capable of playing out wide, even if they don't possess the same sort of explosive speed Carayol has provided.
But Mowbray is confident the players he still has at his disposal can make up for the absence of the 23-year-old winger.
He said: "We have people with pace. Williams has pace, Reach has pace â€¦ but where do you get turbo pace, it's not easy to replace? I think there is an opportunity for others in this squad we have here and that's where we will go.
"I don't think it heightens the need to replace like for like. The balance of the squad looked good and fine, that showed at Preston when we won even though we had a much changed team - without Muzzy. Hopefully we will still be in a good position when he comes back and he can help."
Carayol described his move to the Championship 'as a dream come true' when he first completed his move from League Two in the summer.
It was always his desire to reach that level and is keen to make the most of his chance at the higher level, which is why he will be frustrated by the way he has been ruled out for such a length of time so early in his Middlesbrough career.
Mowbray said: "He has taken it really hard, he has not had an injury before and he has had a move to a level where he wants to play in his career and has had this set back.
"He has started fantastically well for us. We were all excited by the talent he brings, the different dimension he brings. He has to get his head around having to spend a length of time out.
"We will support him in every way we can. Hopefully in three or four months he will be back with his boots on and doing what he did at the start of the season."
Other than Carayol's injury, Middlesbrough are expecting the players who missed Tuesday's League Cup win at Preston through injury to be available again for tomorrow's visit of Leicester City.
Ledesma and Julio Arca had to make their own way to Preston on Tuesday after being delayed by the heavy downpours, but the last couple of days have been fine.
"When we left for Preston on Tuesday morning the pitches were under water here, the river had burst its banks, but it has receded," said Mowbray. "Hopefully we will have had good preparation on Thursday and Friday. A few will play at the weekend who have had the midweek off and hopefully we can have a good go at Leicester, fully refreshed."
The three - who all played key roles in Boro's successful 2004 cup-winning campaign - are getting their boots back to help causes close to their hearts.
It will raise cash for charities including Bliss, which provides care and support for babies born prematurely, too small or too sick and their families, and Shine, which provides practical support to help individuals and families affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
The game kicks-off at 3pm at Harrogate Town's CNC stadium and tickets are priced £12.50 for adults and £7.50 children under 12 (under-threes free). They are available from Harrogate Town AFC, Halo Hairdressers on Leeds Road, Harrogate, and Carriages Bar, Knaresborough.