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Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 15:45 UK

Mickael Tavares boost lifts Middlesbrough boss Strachan

Mickael Tavares
Tavares has played for Hamburg and Nurnburg in Germany's Bundesliga

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan believes on-loan Hamburg player Mickael Tavares can plug the gaps left by the club's central midfielder injury list.

Willo Flood, Gary O'Neil, Kevin Thomson and Rhys Williams have all been absent, and Strachan is delighted to acquire the Senegal international as cover.

"The injuries left a big hole there and we had to get somebody in to cover," Strachan told BBC Tees.

"Fortunately we've been able to get somebody of Mickael's standing in."

Tavares moved to Teesside on-loan from Bundesliga side Hamburg at the end of August, but is yet to make his debut due to the international break.

Meanwhile Strachan also has high hopes for Andrew Halliday, a winger keen to establish himself in the Middlesbrough side after his summer move from Livingston.

The Glasgow-born wideman has not been involved with the first-team since defeat at Barnsley on 28 August but Strachan admitted the future looks bright at the Riverside.

"He played a couple of closed-doors games here and he was terrific, he's different from a lot of the wide players that I've come across," Strachan added.

"He likes to get in the box and head the ball, he gets about the place and he can play on either side, left or right.

"He's got an incredible hunger, and all kids should be brought up like him.

"I'd say 'Go and be like Andy Halliday, get rejected by Rangers, go and train Tuesdays and Thursdays at Livingston, go and play in some horrific places in Scotland, and you'll realise how lucky you are.'

"He's a guy who comes in every morning with enthusiasm and he think it's heaven to be at Middlesbrough, every time I go into the gymnasium, he's in there trying to improve himself."

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see also
Middlesbrough target Tavares deal
27 Aug 10 |  Middlesbrough

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