Middlesbrough Injury News: Tony Pulis concerned over Lewis Wing injury

Tony Pulis has described Lewis Wing’s injury as concerning after the 23-year-old was forced off against Preston North End.

What’s the word?

Wing had started the Tuesday night affair away to Preston but was forced off early into the second half.

The central midfielder, playing on the left flank, had been heavily involved in the action before his substitution, with the second-highest touches of the ball of any Boro player as well as committing four tackles.

The Newton Aycliffe-born ace even made a successful last-ditch tackle to prevent the hosts from opening the scoring, but is said to have complained at the break of feeling unwell.

Teesside Live quote Pulis saying after the match: “That was a bit of a concern tonight because you don’t really want to see a player coming off because he feels giddy or a little bit sick.

“The doctor will assess him tomorrow [Wednesday], and we’ll see what the cause of it is, and take it from there.

“I think he went and complained that he felt a bit giddy at half time. Then obviously after a couple of minutes, he didn’t feel brilliant, so we brought him off.”

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Who could step in?

When Pulis decided that Wing must come off, the dependable Jonny Howson came on, and the 60-year-old coach switched formation to a 4-3-3.

Howson has started 15 matches so far this season, the second most of Middlesbrough’s central midfielders, but found himself on the bench on Tuesday night as his manager opted to start with a 4-2-3-1.

What formation the head coach prefers for the visit of Aston Villa will force his hand regarding selection, but given how well his side fared in the second half after drawing level, sticking with a three-man midfield would better set his team for the confident Villans.

In the first half at Deepdale, Boro only held 32.6% of the ball, but the change brought with it more possession and a better selection of chances to push on and win. In the end, an eighth draw of the season dropped Middlesbrough from second to third.