Justice done to allow Traore to face Leeds United says Boro boss Pulis

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis insisted justice had been done after Adama Traore's successful appeal against a four-match suspension cleared the winger to play against Leeds United tomorrow night.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 8:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 8:45 pm
Tony Pulis

Traore could start at The Riverside ton Friday following the Football Association’s decision to overturn the red card shown to him in a 3-3 draw between Middlesbrough and Sunderland last Saturday.

Adama was caught pushing Sunderland forward Bryan Oviedo in the chest after the pair clashed in the penalty box during the first half of an eventful game at the Stadium of Light. The Spaniard was punished with a straight red card, his second dismissal of the season, and was set to receive a four-game ban but Boro insisted Adama had been provoked by Oviedo and saw their claim upheld by an independent regulatory commission on Tuesday.

Pulis said: “I’ve got to say ‘thank you’ to the FA, the Football League and the panel for making the decision.

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Middlesbrough's Adama Traore

“When you look at it, and the panel has looked at it, it was unjustly done in lots of ways. We’re pleased to have Adama fit and available to go.”

Pulis, whose captain Grant Leadbitter is a doubt with a hamstring problem, said he and his players were ready for a physical clash with Leeds with the two clubs battling to close in on the Championship’s play-off zone. Boro, the division’s pre-season title favourites, missed the chance to move back into the top six last weekend by conceding a 96th-minute equaliser at Sunderland and Leeds are just three points behind them following their 1-0 victory over Brentford.

Pulis said: “They’ve got some good players, they’ve got a competent squad for the Championship and it’ll be a tough game. Every game is physically and mentally demanding and you have to be up for it.

“You look at the majority of the teams in the Championship and they’ve been in the Premier League. Leeds’ supporters will be no different to our supporters or to 15 other teams who see themselves as Premier League clubs. Our players have to realise it, accept it and grow with it – the demands are to win games. To do that you have to be not just good players but mentally tough as well.”

Boro's Grant Leadbitter, left.
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore
Boro's Grant Leadbitter, left.