Ehiogu ready to play his part in Boro push for Uefa spot

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Ugo Ehiogu, the Middlesbrough centre-back, is eager to make up for lost time and help the club in their end-of-season push for a Uefa Cup spot.

Ugo Ehiogu, the Middlesbrough centre-back, is eager to make up for lost time and help the club in their end-of-season push for a Uefa Cup spot.

Ehiogu continued his comeback from injury in the reserves on Tuesday night, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2-1 win over Blackburn at Ewood Park. That came after the 32-year-old finally returned to first-team duty last Saturday with a brief run-out as an 89th-minute substitute in the 1-0 Riverside defeat to Arsenal, ending three months on the sidelines.

Ehiogu had only just returned to the side in early January after two and a half months out of action with a calf injury only to break down with a knee problem. Although it was rumoured that the player might not feature again this season, he is now looking to finish with a flourish as Boro again target European football.

"When I did my knee I was always hopeful that I would get three or four games in," Ehiogu said. "Some people even said to forget this season, but it always gives you something to work toward. We've got a lot to play for at Boro and I'm hoping to get a chance and be OK for the rest of the season."

He added: "We play Fulham and West Bromwich at home next and, with all due respect, those are games Middlesbrough expects to win now, so we've given ourselves a good chance."

Ehiogu, though, may struggle to get a start as the captain Gareth Southgate and Chris Riggott have formed a reliable partnership in his absence.

Riggott believes that after all of Boro's injury problems throughout the course of the campaign, especially among their defenders, the club finally have a platform on which to build a strong finish to the season.

"We feel settled as a unit right now, certainly defensively," he said. "Having George Boateng and Doriva sitting there helps, like Arsenal who have Patrick Vieira and Gilberto sitting in front of their back four. Every team has that little bit of protection. You can't underestimate it.

"We just need to finish well now. Bryan Robson has West Brom really fighting, and Fulham have to as well because they're hardly clear of trouble, but we need to win both those games."

Comments