Middlesbrough are preparing for their first game of 2021 as they travel to Adams Park to face Wycombe Wanderers. 

Neil Warnock’s men are looking to get back on track after their humiliating 2-1 defeat to managerless, Sheffield Wednesday.

Warnock said some of his players made “massive mistakes” in that defeat, something he rarely sees from his usually dependable stalwarts.

Looking ahead to another game against relegation battlers, Middlesbrough will hope to bounce back with a much-improved display to keep the play-off place within reach.

This week, ‘Boro received an injury boost when it was revealed that Ashley Fletcher, who hasn’t played since the beginning of the season, is close to making a return.

Fletcher is currently on the mend after suffering a hamstring injury back in September, though a return isn’t too far away.

In fact, Warnock said he could make his return this month. He told the ‘Boro Gazette: 

“Looking at Fletcher yesterday he looked really strong, I think he is starting his pre-season at the end of the week.

“He’s going into a 2-week programme with JT (John Thrower) our fitness guy, who is very good.”

Likewise, Johnny Howson suffered a hamstring problem, albeit not as serious as Fletcher’s. He limped out of the defeat to Preston North End last month and isn’t expected to return to the side for another two-to-three weeks.

At the time of the injury, Warnock said he would be out for a significant period. 

“He’ll be out a while. We’re not sure whether it will be a two-week or four-week job,” said Warnock on the 11th December.

Elsewhere, defender Grant Hall remains out with a thigh injury that could rule him out until the spring.

Anfernee Dijksteel left the Hillsborough pitch late on in the defeat on Monday night, indicating he may have aggravated a hamstring problem he had at the start of December.