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Mowbray's defensive dilemma...

Bradley Johnson was forced to feature at centre back at Stoke City

20 December 2020

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Tony Mowbray admits he could move for defensive reinforcements when the January transfer window opens in a couple of weeks.

An injury to Daniel Ayala forced Bradley Johnson to fill in at centre back at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

Ayala's setback follows on from the news that Derrick Williams is expected to be out long-term with a quad issue.

Furthermore, Scott Wharton's season is likely to be over after the 23-year-old suffered an Achilles injury at Brentford earlier this month.

And although Ayala is expected to be back soon enough, Rovers are light on the ground for cover.

“Daniel’s picked up a knock in the last game, he couldn’t play," Mowbray told iFollow Rovers after the encounter against the Potters.

“Daniel’s taken a knock and we’ll see whether he’ll be ready for Boxing Day or not.

“I don’t think it’s a bad one, I think he’s got bone bruising, which can sometimes be really painful, but hopefully that can settle down and he’ll be fine for the next game.

“We know about Derrick Williams, we know about Scott Wharton, both have long-term injuries.

“We’re stretched in that position, there was a shout whether we would play Hayden Carter or whether we’d play Johnson (at Stoke).

“We went with Johnson because Stoke can be a physical, direct team.

“We’ll have to explore the possibility of going into the market in January to bring in another centre half," he explained.

“Otherwise I’m not sure whether we’ll get through with Hayden Carter, for instance, who is a good prospect for us."

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