Bristol City v Middlesbrough: Even players know we need new faces, says Tony Pulis

Middlesbrough defender Aden Flint: Faces former club after celebrating his goal against Sheffield United.
Middlesbrough defender Aden Flint: Faces former club after celebrating his goal against Sheffield United.
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Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has warned that Boro may ‘fall away’ in the promotion race if they fail to sign reinforcements.

Pulis’s side travel to Bristol City today, aiming to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.

That’s not just me shouting we need players in. The lads in the dressing room know we need players in. They’re not stupid.

Tony Pulis

In his pre-match press conference, Pulis reiterated that despite Boro’s good start to the season, the squad still needs beefing up if they are to be in the promotion race come next May.

The manager claimed: “We have got the expectation of being the top of the table. To do that, you can’t afford to lose the players we have lost and not replace them.

“Over 46 games in this league, the depth and quality has to be there or otherwise I’m convinced we will fall away.”

Pulis lamented Boro’s lack of activity in the loan market. “Unfortunately, for one reason or another we haven’t been able to do it yet. We hope we can do it soon,” he added.

“That’s not just me shouting we need players in. The lads in the dressing room know we need players in. They’re not stupid.”

One player whom Boro have recruited is defender Aden Flint, who made a move from today’s opposition to Middlesbrough earlier this summer.

The 29-year old will be making his first return to Ashton Gate since his summer transfer and he will be keen to show his former employers exactly what they are missing.

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson remains on good terms with his former player, and he admitted he could not stand in the way of the centre-back’s move to the Riverside.

“I didn’t want him to see him leave, but it turned out that he did, and given that fact, of course we wish him all the best,” stated Johnson.

Pulis, who spent time as manager of Bristol City, also commented on today’s opponents, remarking: “It’s a great stadium and the city is big enough to host Premier League football.

“It’s a great city. I started my playing career there at Bristol Rovers and I was a manager of City so I know the club and the people there well.”

Pulis also showed his admiration for Bristol City benefactor Steve Landsdown, stating: “I’ve got a lot of respect for the owner for what he has done there, how he has developed the ground.”