Middlesbrough's late deadline day deals a welcome surprise for Neil Warnock

MANAGER NEIL Warnock has revealed that Middlesbrough's late business on deadline day even caught him by surprise.

REUNITED: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing played under Neil Warnock at Cardiff City. Picture: Getty Images.

The club made late swoops for Neeskens Kebano and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing on Monday to bolster their attacking options for the second half of the Championship campaign.

The decision to bring Kebano in on loan from Fulham was made very late in the day and Warnock expressed his delight at getting the deal over the line.

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"We got one at the death, which was a surprise really," revealed Warnock.

LATE ARRIVAL: Neeskens Kebano joined Middlesbrough on deadline day. Picture: Getty Images.

"We didn't expect to get the lads in that we got in. It was a real plus for us, a bonus.

"I always thought Neeskeens is one of those players that when you play against him, you don't know what he is going to do.

"What I love about him is his positivity, he always runs straight at defenders. That is what I am looking for really."

He added: "It was only a decision at 9.30pm on Monday night. It only came about in the space of an hour and a half."

Mendez-Laing won promotion to the Premier League at Cardiff City with Warnock in 2017-18 and has made over 300 career appearances since making his professional debut in 2010.

Warnock is not concerned about Mendez-Laing's attitude after the player was sacked by the Bluebirds due to an alleged serious breach of contract on the eve of the season.

"We all make mistakes, I brought him up from Rochdale and spent all my time with him, more or less," added Warnock.

"I haven't got a problem with that. There were one or two clubs after him and I told him that I thought he was better off coming with me."

Given his extended time out of the game, Warnock will not be throwing the 28-year-old into his matchday squad immediately.

"I just thought he could contribute and we could look at him to try and get him up to scratch.

"He is a naturally fit lad but when you have not had any football involvement, it is different to just running around.

"He has done a lot of training but it will just be a matter of getting him up to speed."

Warnock hopes to have Marcus Tavernier back fit next week while Dael Fry is a doubt for the visit of Brentford tomorrow.

He added: "Apart from Tav [Marcus Tavernier] and Dael [Fry], they’re all doing well in training.

“Dael has not trained yet. He will train today but I won’t rush him back if he’s not ready and he’ll have only had one session.

“I know what Dael is like. He’ll want to play, so we’ll just see how he is in comparison before we make that decision.”

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