Chris Wilder is hopeful that Darragh Lenihan and Chuba Akpom will be available for Middlesbrough following the international break.
The pair have been absent through injury, but Boro are optimistic that they can return for their next fixture against Coventry City on October 1.
It has been a tricky start to the latest Championship season for the club, with the team currently in the relegation zone come the end of September.
The Middlesbrough manager has highlighted the work he wants to conclude with his squad during the international break.
He believes this two week period offers him an opportunity to get the players up to full match fitness, following the late arrivals of several signings.
“It does give us a bit of breathing time to work on a couple of things and time to get a couple of really important players back fit or some really important players getting work they needed on the training ground,” said Wilder, via The Northern Echo.
“There are players that have come into the club very late, a couple of players that are still finding their way.
“Rodrigo [Muniz] has a couple of bits and pieces and still is only a young kid so he has got a bit of work to do with the way we play as well.
“It’s not ideal but it is not an excuse.
“We just have to keep going. We knew the international break was what it was and the three games were big games.
“We’ve had one postponed for obvious reasons and we’ve took one point out of six.
“Obviously, we’re not looking at that and thinking that is a great return.”
Boro are 22nd in the league standings, having only earned 10 points from their opening 10 games.
However, despite the lowly position in the table, the gap to a top six place is only five points.
A busy October schedule could yet have a significant impact on the team’s season, with Wilder’s side set to play 10 games over the course of six weeks before the World Cup interrupts proceedings.
Having Lenihan come back into the side will be a big boost as the Irishman was one of the club’s big name arrivals early in the transfer window.
The risk the club took by making big player sales late in the market was that signings also arrived after the start of the season.
That made life more difficult for Boro and Wilder, who are suffering the consequences of that now.
But the international break has arrived at a good time for the squad, who can now reset ahead of an incredibly tough next month or so.
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