http://anthonyvickers.boroblogs.co.uk/

Gritty Boro Grind Out 'Historic' Draw

By Anthony Vickers on Nov 6, 12 10:17 PM


AFTER just two wins in 40 years and half a century since a clean sheet at Forest, I think Boro can claim the goalless draw at the City Ground as a mighty moral victory.

Boro - and another superb midweek travelling support of 1,600 in a third away game in a week- may not have had the jubilation and vindication of a victory at that most barren of bogey grounds but it was a massive and deserved point after a gutsy display.

Of course, some naive and wild eyed optimists may see anything that falls short of out-right victory as a bit of a disappointment that slips back from the incrementally raised standards of the past few weeks.

Some had built themselves up for victory and had already factored in the points boost of a Magnificent Seven triumph. After six wins on the bounce in all competitions, after six triumphs on their travels, after beating Sunderland and Brighton and then leaders Blackburn on their own turf there may have been an expectation that Boro would win and that anything less would have been a set-back.

But most dyed in the wool, battle scarred campaigners will know that Boro NEVER get anything at the City Ground so even a single point represents a quantum leap forward.

So historically adjusted, a draw there can be marked down as a famous victory.

Boro have won just twice at the City Ground in 40 years: they edged a narrow 2-1 triumph in March 1999 when Brian Deane got a late winner in a close fought 2-1 triumph for Bryan Robson's side and before that there was a 3-1 win in April 1973 with Alan Foggan scoring two and John Hickton sealing a 3-1 victory as Stan Anderson's final season fizzled out.

And Boro have kept only two clean sheets at Forest in just over a century, the last one coming in November 1956 when Brian Clough rattled in a hat-trick in an emphatic 4-0 win. Before that you are looking before World War One when every team wore baggy shorts and looked like they were doing Movember. You can see the highlights of Boro's 1-0 win on Pathe News.

And that is not one of those quirky stats that is thrown up because you rarely play a team because they spend most of their time in a far flung lower league. This is Forest: we have played them countless times in leagues and cups and the obligatory dashing Autumnal defeat there is one of the building blocks of every season.

That fixture was the first defeat (and first away reverse in the league) last season and the first crack in what had been a superb start for instance.

So a lot of hard-bitten cynics will now start to believe: if this Boro can come back from Forest with such a prize then who knows what is possible?

And, let's be honest, it was a good point by a team finishing the last league of a gruelling tour of three tough away games in a week.

Boro have spent much of that long week in hotels or on coaches and have had little down-time to prepare tactically for the nuances of each of their opponents' styles.

So to come out of the other end of that mini-tour with four hard-earned points, in second place in the table and in the last eight of the League Cup is not a bad return at all.

Especially as in the last two games Boro have been far from at their best.

At Charlton they were sticky and stuttering for the first hour before getting a vital goal and taking control then exploiting the space offered as their hosts chased the game.

That 4-1 was a result that looked far more comfortable on the page than it ever did on the pitch.

And at Forest, a jaded looking Boro that lacked the fluency of a few weeks ago were forced to labour throughout a very physical game for the draw.

On balance Forest had more of the incisive play, the better of the sporadic chances and when Billy Sharp broke clear through into the box to rattle the post early in the second half, they missed the moment to apply the weight of history.

But Boro dug deep in what was a very scrappy game to keep them at bay.

The defence was switched about again with Seb Hines - who had barely trained all week - slotting in for Jonathan Woodgate and it was change up top too as ring rusty Lukas Jutkiewicz returned in place of Emmanuel Ledesma.

Even the off-colour gaffer was only in the dug-out after passing a late fitness test.

But despite the changes, enforced and rotational, and despite the fatigue from a tough run of eight games in 21 days, they put in a Trojan collective display of grit and industry.

The defence stayed strong and switched on to shackle Sharp and Simon Fox who was a livewire in the first half with some surging runs down the right flank to put in some testing crosses.

And the midfield may not have been as creative as usual but they were a superb unit deployed in a spoiling capacity: chasing, closing down, tackling, blocking and making it very difficult to function.

Grant Leadbitter was a metronomic presence, swinging from side to side measuring out the ferocious tempo of the engine room while Nicky Bailey carried out a dirty but efficient ruthless hunter-killer role just behind him.

And the physical presence and non-stop workrate of Faris Haroun and Josh McEachran contributed to chopping down Forest's ambitions.

And Boro were brave. Haroun and Bailey both made superb last ditch blocking tackles while McEachran threw himself full length in a furious scramble to block a goalbound piledriver with his ribs.

At times it was scrappy, shapeless and untidy. It was, as the cliche has it, not one for the purists. But it was a determined display that showed a vital part of the skill set needed for a winning team.

They were far from their best but they got a point on the road from a tough team.

And make no mistake, this was a point gained. And a big point from a well resourced side with a lot of firepower and who could yet force their way into the promotion shake-up.

And it was big point that kept the run going Boro are starting to show the kind of consistency, belief, steel and street-fighting staying power to get out of this league.

And it was a big point on another crazy night in the Championship when Cardiff cracked at Charlton and Crystal Palace blasted to the front.

Given how the cut-throat promotion race is shaping up it was a vital small step.

That is now eight games unbeaten in all competitions and seven in the Championship.
A pleasing momentum is now starting to build.

Now the key is to recover, recharge and get ready to carry that into the next game.

Boro play on Friday next against Sheffield Wednesday at the Riverside and they can go top of the table.

That may not count for much in November but it would be great to see and fantastic reward for the effort this Boro team have put in over the past six weeks.

With a great value ticket offer - £12 for adults and £7 for kids - Boro are hoping for a bumper crowd. Over 17,500 have been sold already. It is heading to be the biggest crowd of the season so far for what may shape up as a significant moment.

Get yourself there.


52 Comments

Jarkko said:

A good result at our bogie ground by the Trent. A clean sheet. I think this achievement is for Smogon. It was the first clean sheet there in 56 years and only the second for 110 years. So a rare treat.

Up the Boro!

Nigel Reeve said:

A good result last night and still being second in the table is a bonus, we're set up nicely for Friday.

bakutony said:

If Boro get a crowd of 18,790 on Fantastic Friday it will mean that this season’s aggregate Home and Away attendances will be exactly equal at 124,115.
Blimey!
Now that must be worth a daft quid AV.

Clive Hurren said:

Your report sums it up precisely, AV. This was truly a battling team performance against a very good Forest side. McEachran's wonder block to save a certain goal typified the fight and the desire Boro showed all evening.


It wasn't pretty as you said, and there were plenty of nervy moments, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Gritty, typical blood and thunder Championship fare, but the point is that Boro of seasons past would have lost this game. We were outplayed in the first half, but matched them shot for shot, tackle for tackle in a breathless second.


A very valuable point, and ultimately a great one. If you'd offered me that at the start I would definitely have taken it! Bring on the Wednesday.

mickymac said:

I think that will do for now.

peterboroangel said:

Will this site finally work? If so, 10th time lucky!


Is it a Teesside trait to alienate followers?


Great point from our bogey team team last night. We must be making progress!


**AV writes: The network has been up on blocks for a few hours this morning. I think they are putting anti-freeze in the servers. Something technical.

Andy R said:

Yep, happy with that. If we keep picking up points away from home with odd win thrown in to compensate for games we haven't won at home, we'll be fine. Of course, we've been winning plenty away of late.


Friday presents are huge opportunity for Boro. Win well in front of a decent crowd to go top of the league and the recoverey is on.


Be untypical, Boro.

BoroPhil said:

Ian -


Continuing on your point from the previous blog, I'm not disputing the fact we played more positively in that game, but whereas you seem to think Mogga has had a lightbulb moment, read the blog and fmttm and thought 'hey, maybe those guys are right, maybe I should tell the lads to be positive from the off'.


I think it’s more down to the fact the players are confident and aren’t perhaps as worried about playing at home as they have in the past. And let’s not forget having Reach available wasn’t something we had in previous games, Mogga has said himself he didn’t play Thomson, Bailey and Leadbitter together out of choice.


Solid result last night, really looking forward to Friday, big crowd, top v bottom, team on form, chance to go top, what can go wrong!

Ian Gill said:

Following on from my colleagues comments about our away support I had a quick gamder at the number of away fans at our games.

We took nearly as many to Barnsley (3872) as have come to the Riverside in seven matches (3931).

Even if we discount the Barnsley figure we take twice as many away as come to us.

That is about £250,000 per year in revenue.

lenmasterman said:

A weird game, reminiscent of an end of season encounter between two mid-table teams with little to play for. The first half could most accurately be described in terms of its negatives. What it did not have. Like pace, pressure on the ball, tackling (in spite of all the covering), commitment, attacking intent. Things like that. Chess without the aggression.


Forest were gifted a few chances from schoolboy defensive errors but failed to take them. But for Sharp's inability to convert a simple tap-in, and a truly heroic block by McEachran, we would have gone in two down. Boro's attacks were nipped in the bud by a Forest back four keeping a dangerously high line which we lacked the ingenuity to breach.


Second half was much better with McDonald and Jutkiewicz both looking dangerous as the game got stretched. Most chances continued to come from defensive sloppiness rather than creative play, however, and the general standard of play was well below that of Premiership aspirants.


One's final impression was that this was an under-par contest between two mid-table and leg-weary Championship teams. There were few grounds here to support either the despondency or the triumphalism that has characterised some supporters' responses over the past few weeks. Another point in the Championship's attritional grind with the reasonable hope that there may be better to come.


In terms of individual performances, Boro's outstanding players were McDonald, full of running and a constant threat in the second half, and the majestic Bikey in defence. Hines, given a difficult time here last season by Miller, was not at his best and made errors which, on another day, could well have cost us the game.


Bailey, given the job of looking after Andy Reid, did it superbly, but was himself frustrated by the quality of his distribution. Leadbitter was the fulcrum of most of our moves, but gave the ball away rather more frequently than we have come to expect. McEachran tried hard, but this looked like one game too many for the young man. He seemed leggy throughout.


What can one say about Friend. I have been unlucky in not having seen any of his exciting man-of-the-match attacking performances. What I have repeatedly witnessed, however,(at Bury, Barnsley, Blackpool - especially at Blackpool-and now Nottingham) is a full-back, who, defensively, is something of a weak link.


Virtually all of Forest's attacks came down the right, where time and again the attackers had time and space to pick out their crosses. To be fair George needed more help, but he was too easily beaten and hardly put in an authoritative tackle all night. People whose judgment I trust insist that he is a great prospect. I accept that whilst remaining stubbornly of the view that a full-back's primary quality should be the ability to defend. For me Parnaby looked a more accomplished back on the night.


As one who has seen all of the Boro's games at the City Ground since our win there in 1973, I still left disappointed. Though not half as upset as I was when we lost 5-1 in 1974. That was an unmitigated disaster. A catastrophic defeat. Souness, hopeless. Maddren, a disaster. Armstrong,peripheral. Hickton, ineffectual. Charlton, a manager who, on the day, failed to prepare or motivate his team.


It was the year we won the league.


With 8 games to spare.


By the biggest ever margin- 15 points- in the Second Division.

It was the year we achieved our highest ever number of points.

lenmasterman said:

Boro get a draw and Obama wins. Better that than the other way around I'll take it.

BamBam said:

Before the start I would be quite happy with a point, but the more the game went on without them capitalizing, I had a strange thought - Boro could sucker punch these guys... The recent confidence to comeback, to outplay, dominate and grind out results has banished the usual jovial cynicism of the Boro fan!


I believe we could take Wednesday, but suspect that the fuel in the gas tanks might be critical after that (where's a bl**dy England game when you need one!)


BTW, I was listening to Ali and Higg on BBC Tees online (I live down Sarf)and 5 min before kickoff a polite voiceover from the BBC said that I couldn't listen anymore because of contractual blah blah???? Grrr, forced to watch Sky Sports News AGAIN!!


Anyone else outside the Republic have this experience?

Nigel Reeve said:

Just been watching AV's video piece summing up last nights match, I think your blog pic is a bit out of date!!


**AV writes: It's been a tough couple of years.

Ian Wood said:

Who is paying Stephen McManus's wages now he has torn his cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season? Do you know AV?


**AV writes: Latest new suggests that Big Mick's scan has shown he has NOT torn his cruciate but instead has badly twisted and strained his knee ligaments. Six weeks rather than six months - but it may still scupper plans for a permanent move in January and shuffle him back on to the Boro wage bill, squeezing Mogga's wriggle room in the transfer window.

Percypieblocks said:

Couldn't get to the match but both my lads went, they came back moaning about how bad we were, especially Hines and Friend who I'd been bigging up for a while now.


I had to be the voice of reason for a change explaining that we have had a hard 7/8 days and that the point was a good one.


Like me they weren't happy with the system we played but what the hell, it's a results business after all.

Forever Dormo said:

A decent point. Win at home and draw away, consistently, and that generally means being at or near promotion at the end of the season.


And, bakutony at 10.54am, I am sure we will get rather more than your quoted figure for the Sheffield Wednesday match. The Middlesbrough FC Twitter site said at least a couple of hours ago that the number of tickets sold by then was 19,393.


I would be surprised if we don't sell a couple of thousand more, at least, by the time of kick-off, so a crowd of 21 to 22,000 would seem to be on the cards - maybe more!


Go on then, if I must. I'll say the crowd will be 22,975. #ColoursToTheMast as they say on Twitter. (But I have a sneaky feeling that it may be even higher - it's the smell of those foam hands at this unaccustomed second place in the League. I think I might be suffering from vertigo. It's great!).

Ian Gill said:

BoroPhil -


I posted the comments by AV on the previous thread.


If you look at my posts it isnt just about this blog but that is the one I know, a little bit of mischief on my part. There are many other media streams (is that the right terminology?) which the club probably read


And crowd numbers and the needs of the football club may have an effect. And meetings with the likes of Rob Nicholls and Vic - at this moment probably trying to airbrush his comments out of history!!!!


It is an entertainement business and who knows what the club looks at.


Mogga's words have been about more entertainment and engaging with the fans. AV's comments have been about being on the front foot rather than waiting to see what develops.


It is only a tiny tweak to see a change in the way we play, it may even be subconcious but there was a marked change in the last two home games.


Sometimes you have to be outside the goldfish bowl. Sometimes 2 and 2 appears to make 5 sometimes it is a coincidence or an accident.


Whatever it is you couldnt get the smile off my face today, Smog now lives a long way away but I live amongst Tricky Trees, Foxes and Sheep Worriers.


5-2 for promotion is great news, I dont bet but that is far better than I predicted at seasons start. Bizarre because I was adamant we could esily have gone up last
season.


Dont give a monkeys if I was wrong about this season.

Ian M said:

Erm .. I think that's really five unbeaten away in the league - but it feels like seven.

BoroPhil said:

Ian,

Ultimately, who cares what has made the difference, we're all glad it has been made and long may it continue!

I do have a horrible feeling we are going to fall flat on our faces on Friday though...

peaeye said:

I know I'm leaving myself open to some technophobic chanting here(C**p at IT he's c**p at IT....) but can anybody tell me how to listen to matches on my computer please?


For midweek games I'm having to resort to BBC live text commentary, which is a total misnomer as the text is at least five minutes behind the action and extremely basic, although the league table is updated in advance of text when goals are scored.


Looking forward to Friday night down the pub though, hopefully Sheffield Mittwoch will be as tired/leggy as us.


**AV writes: My understanding is that BBC Tees do not have rights for digital broadcasting of live match commentary so can only be heard on ordinary steam driven radio in Gazetteshire. If you live further afield you are stuck with following the action on twitter via #borolive or chancing Boroworld+ but I don't know how that works or costs or even if it any good.

Werdermouth said:

It's all getting a bit confusing as there's no game this Saturday because we're playing Wednesday on Friday.


So will we finally reach the summit without the need for oxygen in the rarefied atmosphere of the Riverside this week? It seems inevitable (a typical Boro chill descends down a thousand spines)


Though, I think the problem seems to come when teams reach the top of the Championship - Blackburn, Blackpool, Liecester, Cardiff all seemed to plant their flags at the summit admire the view and then start their descent.


Boro really have climbed a mountain in the last two months and It's been all onward and upwards for Mogganaut's men. Let's hope that if we reach the top Boro make it a platform for promotion and don't allow themselves to mentally relax as a job done.


Well there's been nothing to complain about for quite some time now - only I'm still wondering what's happened to the rolling out of the new blog AV?

Ian Gill said:

Len Masterman

I switched on the TV to hear the words 'Historic Result' only to be gutted when it was a report of some fella getting some votes in an election and not the hard fought draw at Forest.

On to Friday and good news on ticket sales.

timfromsa said:

Very good point one we would not have had last season.


Looking forward to Friday now. Just hope it is not too soon for our weary travellers. We will have to get going early try and get a comfortable lead then we may be a bit done in towards the end.


Anybody done the sums. What type of crowd do we need to get the same income at the old price. Would be interesting to know. But hey you cant buy atmosphere.


**AV writes: Some back of fag packet maths:


Without the deal Boro were looking at ST base (10,000) + away fans (800) + walk-up. For a Friday game on TV I think that would be a very low figure. Let's say 1,200. Throw in the comps (500 ish): maybe a record low crowd of 12,500. Add 1,000 because of the recent run of good results and let's say 13,500. That's still lower than the Derby crowd.


The average take per ticket for walk-up/away fans is £16 per head(ish). So 3000 at that is £44k (less 20% tax). To make the deal work Boro need to bridge that gap. The away fans figure should stay the same so will yield £12,800. That leaves a shortfall of £31,200. If you work on an average of maybe a £9 a head under the deal then Boro would need to sell 3,466. Less 20% tax. Plus a few extra costs (stewards etc). Give or take.


At the moment the sales are at 21,000 - take out STt and away fans and you are looking at around 10,000 extra ticket sold under the cut-price offer which is a fantastic result. Especially as the club will get a TV broadcast facility fee (I think it is £125,000). The club will be delighted.


The club do not have a lot of leeway in their finances and gate money is the only variable. The only way to generate resources for transfer/loan signings in January (outside of sales) is through extra bums on seats. So the extra cash will reduce the pressure on Mogga in January and give him some wriggle room.


What it shows is that if the price is right and the product on the pitch is right, then the crowd will respond. That proves an important point. It was something we were keen to stress to the club in the meeting. There had been a belief that the crowd was not price sensitive ... that you "couldn't give them away" ... which was a barrier to any creative marketing.


We are meeting with the club again soon. I think the success of this offer will lead to other (different) creative ticket packages soon. There won't be wholesale sustained cuts - the club can't afford it - but there are a few ideas on the table. Watch this space.

Nigel Reeve said:

peaeye -


sign up for Boro+, then you get the live commentary on every game, home or away. In addition highlights of every match are shown. I think its about £35 per year (check, I'm not certain). But I think its well worth it, although my wife might have a different opinion!


To add my opinion to the issue of Boro fans behaviour at Sunderland raised on the previous thread, I would say this. There is no excuse in the world for chanting taunts refering to paedophiles at opposition fans or players.


Its vile, disgusting and totally unacceptable, we deplore it when away fans do it at the Riverside. By doing so at Sunderland we Boro fans have lost all moral authority on this issue, it was a dark moment in Boro history.


The Boro fans who chanted the taunt should hang their heads in shame. If it had been a racist chant there would have been serious reprecussions, the same zero tolerance approach should be taken to chants about paedophiles.


Think on this, in a match day crowd of 20, 30, 40,000 there will be fans who have been the subject of sexual abuse and attacks by paedophiles, what will they feel/think when they hear others making a sick joke out of it? In my opinion those who joined in the chant are beneath contempt.


Looking ahead to the Wednesday match, I've re-activated my Sky sport contract, looking forward to a few beers in front of the telly and watching a good game played in front of a good crowd.

Jarkko said:

lenmasterman said: "As one who has seen all of the Boro's games at the City Ground since our win there in 1973, I still left disappointed." Respect, Len. Great support for the Boro during all those years. And great posts, too. Both of them.


BamBam -


Hence I listen to Ali & Higgy via Boro+ at mfc.co.uk. But you have to pay for that service.


Up the Boro!

Percypieblocks said:

Really disappointed with the news regarding Matthew Bates. Obviously I don't know what the discussions were regarding a contract etc; but the word ingrate springs to mind.


**AV writes: He was made an offer for Boro which would have been a massive pay cut (but still decent by the standards of the division) and tied to options that were heavily weighted in the club's favour. He thinks he can get a better deal elsewhere and that may well be the case if he is lucky and ir ready to take a short deal.


There is also an ego element. The deal on the table was one that reflected the fact that, with evryone fit, he would be fourth choice centre-back at best. That has got to be hard to swallow. Possibly he will be better off with a fresh start somewhere.
Bristol, we have been told.


john dobson said:

If you want to listen to live commentary you will only get for paying. I listen virtually every week by going on when I can't attend. You have to register on boro+ and the cost is about £50 per season. If you live 200+ miles away like me it is invaluable.

Ian Gill said:

Borophil -


Agreed


Peaeye and AV -


I am surprised AV doesn't know the details but I suppose, and this isnt me having a go, if you get paid to go to all the home and away games, have access to Radio Tees, do interviews and have access to the club there probably isnt the need.


Boroworld is fine, need a decent broadband connection. You get all the commentaries from radio tees plus listen to the build up and post match phone in. The other benefit is that you get match highlights plus all the interviews.


It costs around £5 per month but there seem to be various offers.


It wasnt that long ago that it couldnt be run on Apple products but that is now sorted. It is well worth the money. You get the very occasional problem, I remember when we thrashed Bolton years ago I ended up with commentary of Toon - century provided the match commentary in the days before wolfman was cast out in to the wilderness.


I dont know if works overseas.


It certainly works better than this blog!


Click on Boro fc, doesnt come up so click again, click on the blog, click on the comments to bring up to date comments, type in name and address, type in post, copy post to clipboard, submit, retype name and email address because the submission failed because no name and email address, repaste the post, resubmit, wait half an hour because subbmitted too many posts and repeat process. Realise it has taken too long and there is a new blog.


Easy really.


Masham Wiggy said:

Peaeye -,


Back in the days when I was Stockport Wiggy I to used to suffer the same radio/laptop cut off 5 mins before the game.


What I don't understand is when I listen to the local FM station now, the pre and post match texts are often from people listening all over the globe.


I tried emailing BBC tees this years ago and got no reply. Perhaps you can tale up the baton on this with BBC Tees or are then any other ex pats who have worked out how to follow the matches?

Nigel Reeve said:

I've just had a play with the BBC predictor, we'll hit top spot on the 24th November! You heard it here first.......

Ian Gill said:

Nigel

I reckon it will be on Friday 9th November at about 9.45pm albeit for a short time, I was going to type temporarily but could not remember how to spell it.

(OK it is spelt it to save anyone the bother.)

As Werdermouth says it is confusing playing Saturdays game on Friday against Wednesday.

beeline said:

Yes, Boro+ is available worldwide.
(Just an excuse to see if I can get a comment through - I gave up trying many months ago).

Nigel Reeve said:

Ian - yes of course you're right, what I should have said is we'll hit top on the 24th and stay there!

peterboroangel said:

AV It wasn't the tenth time that day, it was the tenth time over several weeks.

Very frustrating!

Sorry to be concentrating on a negative during such a positve time.

Ian Gill said:

Matt Bates may have been further down the line than 4th.


As John puts it we have two players in Dr Bikey and Mr Amougou depending who is controlling his limbs. Then there is Woodie and of course Rhys coming back.
That makes Matt fifth in the pecking order.


There also has to be room in the squad for Hines and we will want Ben Gibson to progress. Any contract would reflect all of those issues.


It is a salutary lesson for any footballer, I guess the contract on the table before his injury was far better than he has just been offered.


You cant blame him for looking at his options but can but think he is now an injury away from retirement. Shame in many ways.

Forever Dormo said:

Cruciately speaking, it just goes to show that gambling doesn't always pay.

Andrew G said:

To Peaeye -


I am currently living in South Africa and have signed uo to Boro+ through the MFC website. Cost about GBP50 for the season. The quality of the feed is perfect and highly recommend it to anyone who can't get on it otherwise.


We even get this friday nights match on the tv and at the highly respectable time of 9.30am Saturday morning, allowing for a nice lie in hehe.


Andrew


UTB

ron in the delta said:

Believe me I am not the cold bucket of water or the damp squid or even the prophet of doom but; after 50+ years of supporting and following Boro how many times have I seen the crowds come back after much encouragement and excellent results to see the good run continue and then see the team not deliver.........


Really hope this is another typical Boro scenario put to rest tonight. They buried the Notts Forest jynx same again tonight please

Ian Gill said:

All I ask is that we are not debating if only's after tonights game.


Tiredness shouldnt be an issue, Wednesday played midweek and last weekend.


Injuries are a concern on two fronts. Looks like Thommo will be fit but don't play him, Josh, Bails and Leadbitter together.


With the other players coming back Mogga could be like a kid let loose in the sweetshop, too much choice, lets try them all.


Last but not least, I will scream if I hear the term 'a point may prove useful at the end of the season'. That approach did for our promotion hopes last year.


Time and again we were offered the chance to kick on at home and steadfastly refused them. Give it a go, a clean sheet and a point at Forest was fine, not tonight please.

CroydonBoro said:

Richard Evans -


I'm sure 2008 and all that is at the forefront of many people's minds.


Ian Gill -


The idea of Thommo being fit is striking terror in my heart. Hopefully the warm up will come to the rescue once again.


Am so very very happy at Teesside's response to the Club's approach after AV's great work. Will have fingers, toes et al crossed while watching the game at work tonight.

Smoggypaul said:

Caution is the word, no overconfidence eh. I recall the great season of 73-74........undefeated from the start of September (Fulham) to the start of March, top of the table, then Wham! Lost 1-5 away to Forest. I remember as a callow youth being stunned by the severity of the loss. Five bloody one!


Anyway, points are what are needed, and confidence boosting table topping appearances, however fleeting. I don't care if we grind out a win, so long as we do. Of course, swashbucklingly attractive demolitions will be much appreciated, but Wed will be up for it, it's on the telly, lets not assume it'll be a walkover. UTB

John Powls said:

So agree with Ian & CroydonBoro -


If ever there was a time for intensity, front foot and fill the pitch to go for it without going hung-ho, this is it.


Mogga needs to do as he's been doing and put the wind in his teams sails not trim before the moderate breeze of The Owls but put the wind up them!


No more 'if only'!


C'Mon Boro!!!!!

bakutony said:

A sign! A sign! Today's Countdown had a game with first three letters out of the pile being E I O. OMG.

bakutony said:

Another sign! Another sign! On Countdown, two games after EIO came up, the first 4 letters were T- S - D - E. And I got the Countdown Conundrum in 10 seconds.

Nigel Reeve said:

Tommo fit? Don't make me laugh! More importantly will Woody play? Who will start up front I wonder, will it be the 'number one' pairing of jukebox and Emnes, or will Mogga stick with McDonald who deserves his place on current form. Whoever starts will have to be in scintilating form as there will be a couple of strikers on the bench desperate to play.

I can't see a 'typical Boro' moment coming up tonight, this team is evolving into anything but a 'typical Boro' side.

I've been to the supermarket to stock up and junior is getting his homework out of the way 'early doors', bring it on!

Forever Dormo said:

I hae been revising upwards throughout the day, my estimate of tonight's crowd for the game against Wednesday. Last one - 29,250.

I realise that is a big leap. By far our biggest crowd for ages. But I have this feeling....that it's going to be a great evening with a great atmosphere and a great result. TOP OF THE TABLE!!

(Hope I haven't put a hex on things). UTB!

Werdermouth said:

Let's hope Boro can play with a swagger and show their promotion credentials - perhaps try to emulate what Jack Charlton's promotion winning team did to Wednesday - that should certainly get the bumper crowd coming back for more!


Failing that, I'll settle for 2-0 - OK, 1-0 with a 88th minute pen is my final offer.

Grove Hill wallah said:

Att: 28,229.

Love It!! FansTastic!!!!

They will have to start dusting off the plans for the extra tiers on the North, South and East stands!!

Separated at birth...Grant Leadbitter and Paul scholes?

Ian Gill said:

I will take that but what is Dave Jones on? Moans about our onside goal, doesnt mention the fact their goalscorer was so far offiside he popped out of the Navi!


Enough of positives. Only 28229, only top, let in a goal, didnt score six. Bugger!


Hoyte scores a wonder goal. Bugger!


Ledesma did well. Bugger.


Started on the front foot with a positive line up! Bugger.


No match tomorrow. Double Bugger!


What the hell am I going to complain about. Bugger!

Ian Gill said:

Bakutony

I have made some tenuous boro links but I take my hat off to you. Countdown, never reckoned on Countdown.

Respect

Ian Gill said:

I think that we may remain top tonight.


Palace are on a great run but Posh seem to swing from abysmal to good. Posh havent drawn at home yet so I am going for 2-2.


The key thing is we have done what we didnt do last season and put in a performance at home when the opportunity arose. That means points on the board. It puts pressure on the rest even at this early stage of the season.


Further down the table Cardiff v Hull looks a cracker and there is the little matter of the Tricky Trees at the Foxes. It is a bigger game for Leicester as they think it is as big as Forest v Derby. Dont get me wrong Forest want to win the game but it doesnt have the spice of the Brian Clough derby - even the road joining the towns is called Brian Clough Way.


Three draws please. I know there is a long way to go but there is nothing wrong in watching the rest squabble and hope results go our way.

Grove Hill wallah said:

It's A Hoot For The Fans!

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