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Momentum the key for Boro

Momentum the key for Boro

Middlesbrough make the short trip to Leeds United this weekend looking to continue the recent momentum gained by successive league victories.

Boro are currently third in the table and only three points off the leaders following consecutive triumphs against latest opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers and Peterborough United.

Skipper Rhys Williams won't yet be recalled to the squad after being sidelined since August by ankle ligament damage. The 24-year-old Australian international did though get involved in a full-scale practice game at Rockliffe Park on Friday.

"Rhys is doing well. He played his first internal game today at training and came through that no problem, so he's not too far away," manager Tony Mowbray told Boro's official website. "He's badgering me to see whether he's going to be in the squad for the weekend, and unfortunately he's not!

"He's going to travel with the team and has to get used to being a part of it and being around the squad and the matchday," he added. "So it'll be another week or so in full training and we'll try and ease him back in as best we can."

Meanwhile, Mowbray is once again waiting on the fitness of a number of key players and late checks must be made on George Friend, Andre Bikey, Faris Haroun (all hamstring) and Andy Halliday (groin).

Longer-term victims Julio Arca (toe), Mustapha Carayol and Curtis Main (both knee) remain sidelined until the New Year.

Defender Alan Tate and forward Ryan Hall should both return for the home side after being cup-tied in midweek. David Norris was also expected to come into midfield alongside Michael Tonge in his final appearance on loan from Stoke City.

Striker Davide Somma could finally make his first start of the campaign after recovering from a knee injury.

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Writer:Vital Boro
Date:Friday December 21 2012
Time: 3:58PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Middlesbrough 29 17 6 6 57 23
2 Hull City 29 17 5 7 56 26
3 Burnley 30 15 10 5 55 22
4 Brighton 29 14 11 4 53 9
5 Derby County 30 13 12 5 51 14
6 Sheff Wed 30 13 11 6 50 12
7 Ipswich 30 13 9 8 48 2
8 Birmingham 30 13 8 9 47 8
9 Cardiff 30 11 12 7 45 5
10 Forest 30 10 12 8 42 6
11 Wolves 30 10 10 10 40 -1
12 Brentford 30 11 7 12 40 -2
13 Q.P.R. 30 9 12 9 39 1
14 Preston 30 9 12 9 39 -1
15 Reading 30 9 9 12 36 0
16 Leeds Utd 30 8 12 10 36 -5
17 Huddersfield 30 8 8 14 32 -4
18 Blackburn 28 6 13 9 31 0
19 Fulham 29 6 11 12 29 -5
20 MK Dons 30 7 7 16 28 -18
21 Bristol City 30 6 10 14 28 -22
22 Rotherham 30 7 4 19 25 -19
23 Bolton 30 4 12 14 24 -21
24 Charlton 30 5 9 16 24 -30
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