High-flying Middlesbrough hand Mowbray 'a bit of a headache'

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The Independent Online

Rhys Williams is delighted he and his Middlesbrough team-mates have provided manager Tony Mowbray with a selection headache.

Boro entertain Sven-Goran Eriksson's Leicester at the Riverside this evening riding high in the Championship table having put together an eight-game unbeaten start to the league campaign.

Indeed, they have lost only one of their 11 matches in all competitions to date this season, their Carling Cup third-round tie at Crystal Palace.

In the circumstances, there was disappointment on Teesside at the weekend when Mowbray's men could manage only a 0-0 draw with Ipswich when victory would have put them top of the table above leaders Southampton, although that did little to dent the spirit within the dressing room.

Australia international Williams said: "We are in a good position and we need that to continue. We all knew we had it in us. We believe in each other. We work hard for each other and we are all fighting for a place in the team. It's a bit of a headache for the manager with all the players fit now, but it's a good headache for the manager to have."

Mowbray has doubts over full-back Joe Bennett and in-from striker Marvin Emnes, but is hopeful both will be available.

The Foxes are yet to lose in the League away from King Power Stadium this season, but have won only one of their four away games to date.

Meanwhile, Cardiff will attempt to enhance their own promotion hopes by denting those of the high-flying Saints when the sides meet at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight.

The Welsh side will welcome the leaders sitting in sixth place in the table, five points adrift of an automatic promotion berth and a further point adrift of Nigel Adkins' side.

However, they will run out with injuries severely limiting manager Malky Mackay's options with a search for replacements on loan currently having drawn a series of blanks.

Mackay told the club's official website, www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk: "In the last two days, we have certainly been very busy in terms of that, and we have really had a real go for people.

"So far, there are at least six that we have made calls on in terms of coming in, and it has just not suited either the player or the club at the time.

"But we will keep going and in the meantime, we will patch everyone up here in the squad who is ready."

Mackay will be without strikers Robert Earnshaw and Rudy Gestede because of thigh and hamstring injuries respectively which could sideline them for 10 days.

The pair limped off during Sunday's 0-0 home draw with Leicester, which saw Mackay use all three of his substitutes by the time the second half got under way.

He said: "It's truly bizarre. Certainly, I have never had three off in the first half injured."

The Bluebirds, who are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions, will meet a Saints side which has lost only once in 11 outings to date this season.

Adkins could have defender Radhi Jaidi and striker Lee Barnard available for the first time this season.

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