Neil Warnock has pinned some of the blame for the last-minute collapse of Yannick Bolasie’s proposed deadline-day move to Middlesbrough on the Everton forward and his agent.
Bolasie looked set to join Boro on a season-long loan, with a deal close to being agreed on Friday afternoon ahead of the 5pm domestic transfer deadline.
However, problems emerged in the final hour of the window, and while the Middlesbrough hierarchy did their best to resolve them, it proved impossible to complete the loan in time.
With Ashley Fletcher set to be sidelined for up to four months with an ankle injury, Warnock desperately needs more attacking firepower, and he admits he was left extremely frustrated by Friday’s events.
Warnock said: “I’m disappointed that we didn’t get him, but that’s life. There were numerous things that happened in the afternoon and it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m disappointed, but you have to move on and we’ll see what happens now.
“He was disappointed, but he was partly to blame as well. There were things I should have known before four o’clock yesterday afternoon about his problems at Everton. They were problems that we couldn’t overcome. Well, we tried to, and eventually we did, but it was too late.
“I’ve asked him why I didn’t know about those problems beforehand. He said, ‘Well, I told my agent’, but I said, ‘Well why didn’t the bloody agent tell us that?’ The agent was talking to (chief executive) Neil (Bausor) quite a lot – he should have come up with these problems, not at four o’clock.”
Boro’s goalless draw with Reading highlighted Warnock’s lack of attacking options, although the Middlesbrough manager felt his side had a second-half effort from Jonny Howson wrongly chalked off for offside.
He said: “We thought one goal would do it, and we scored that. It disappoints me that a linesman looking right across can’t see that was onside. When (George) Saville plays that ball, there’s a kid in the middle of the goal half a yard inside Jonny.”
The draw brought Reading’s 100 per cent start to the season to an end, but the Royals remain unbeaten and look capable of mounting a sustained effort in the top half of the table.
They have conceded just one goal from their opening five league games, a record manager Veljko Paunovic is justifiably satisfied with.
Paunovic said: “I’m never happy when my team doesn’t win, but I’m pleased with the mentality of the team. We pushed them to the end and were very close to getting the three points. We put in a fantastic effort and at this point, I think we look very good.
“The team is working very hard with a warrior spirit. I am proud of the effort and commitment we have in defence, but also in attack.
“At the end of the game, our centre-backs were pushing forward to try to get a goal. Consistently attacking and trying to get the win, that is the attitude we are looking for. Defenders have to defend first, but then we also want more.”