We will cope with losing Cole, says Laird

Defender Scott Laird admits losing Mitchell Cole to suspension is a massive blow but insists there is enough strength in depth in the Boro squad to cope with his absence. Cole s red card at Mansfield means he will now miss both play-off semi-finals and

Defender Scott Laird admits losing Mitchell Cole to suspension is a "massive blow" but insists there is enough strength in depth in the Boro squad to cope with his absence.

Cole's red card at Mansfield means he will now miss both play-off semi-finals and the FA Trophy final at Wembley but Laird believes the likes of Junior Mendes or Lawrie Wilson will provide a decent option down the left flank.

"Mitch is obviously really upset that he is going to miss three big games," Laird told The Comet. "It's a massive blow for us. The manager has said before how crucial he is to the team but we've got a great squad.

"Junior came on for 20 minutes in the second half (at Mansfield) and Lawrie (Wilson) is another one that can come in and do a great job.


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"We've got more than enough cover but Mitch is a big loss because he is a very good player."

The sombre atmosphere among the Boro players belied a team that had just got into the play-offs but Laird insists his team-mates will bounce back from the defeat at Mansfield.

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Laird hopes the defeat acts as a reality check to the Boro squad and they vent their frustration against Cambridge in the play-off semi-final first leg on Thursday.

"We've put in some great performances recently against the top teams in the division and we were just disappointed we couldn't get the result (at Mansfield).

"Hopefully it will act as a bit of a wake-up call for us. We don't like losing and we will be looking to put it right."

The one bright spot for Laird was his sweet left-footed strike that temporarily hauled Boro level at Field Mill. It was certainly not the kind of finish you would expect from a left back but the former Plymouth man is looking to add more goals to his game.

"I'm due one to be honest," he said. "I haven't scored since the qualifying round of the FA Cup. I just gambled on the ball coming my way and struck through it.

"It's just a shame we couldn't go on and get the win.

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