Bryan Robson: "...He Is One Of The Best in The World"

Bryan Robson: "...He Is One Of The Best in The World"

Post by Barry Marjanovic » Wed, 23 Aug 2000 04:00:00

The Times
August 22 2000
Robson orders weary Boksic to take a rest


 BRYAN ROBSON yesterday  nominated Alen Boksic as the finest
 striker in the FA Carling Premiership,  but the Middlesbrough manager
 ordered complete rest for the Croatian  before the match against
 Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium  tonight.

 Boksic is feeling the pace after his first
 game for three months last Saturday, in which he scored
 twice in the 3-1 victory away to Coventry City.

 "He is one of the best in the world," Robson said. "If he'd
 played for France, Germany or Holland he would be a
 legend. But Croatia does not get the same recognition, even
 though they have been to finals.

 "I played against Michel Platini and Zico and loved them, but
 the player who e***s me now is Alen. He was unbelievable
 when Marseilles won the European Cup but he is at his peak
 now at 30. He has all the knowledge and ability, but we have
 to be careful with him because he is an explosive player.

 "Since he arrived I've realised exactly how he does play and
 in games it is either walking or sprinting. There is nothing in
 between - that's what makes him so exciting. Now my job is
 to keep him away from injury and in a Middlesbrough shirt.
 Myself and the medical staff will have to monitor him. Up to
 two years ago he had a good appearances record and he's
 only had the one injury.

 "But we've got to make the preparation and toning of
 muscles right. We've got to give him rest. I've got to keep
 him playing, because he is the best."

 Middlesbrough are paying a significant amount of money in
 wages for the 2.5 million player, but Robson said: "Just ask
 the Middlesbrough fans what they think. Ask them if they
 want to see him in the team or not. They were disappointed
 we didn't sign Juninho, and so was I, but Alen has cost less
 than half the price and he is the best."

 Gary Pallister is also likely to have recovered from an ankle
 injury in time for the Tottenham match.

 "After three games I'll know what sort of season we're going
 to have," Robson added. "We play Leeds after Spurs. Leeds
 are going for trophies and Spurs are going for that Uefa
 place, and after that I'll know."

 Preston North End are ready to make a surprise move for
 Mark Burchill, the Celtic forward. The Scotland international
 has been targeted by David Moyes, the Preston manager,
 because the arrival of Chris Sutton at Parkhead, as well as
 Henrik Larsson's return to fitness, has reduced Burchill's
 first-team chances.

 Moyes failed to tempt Richard Cresswell, the Sheffield
 Wednesday striker, to Deepdale last week and is at present
 without Bjarki Gunnlaugsson, the foward, who has a groin

 "We have had discussions with Celtic regarding Mark
 Burchill," Tony Scholes, the Preston chief executive, said last
 night. "Various options have been discussed but we are not
 willing to elaborate on these until, or unless, matters progress

 Reading yesterday signed Jamie Cureton, who scored 53
 goals in the past two seasons with Bristol Rovers, for
 250,000. Cureton, 24, is seen as a replacement for Nicky
 Forster, a long-term injury victim at the Madejski Stadium.
 Cureton has signed a three-year deal and will make his debut
 against Leyton Orient in the Worthington Cup tonight.

 "Jamie is a proven goalscorer. We all know that we need
 goals to get out of the second division and we need to make
 sure we've got the means to do that," Alan Pardew, the
 Reading manager, said.

 Norwich City have signed Brian McGovern, the 20-year-old
 Arsenal defender, for 50,000 after he impressed on loan at
 Carrow Road.