Recently by Anthony Vickers
NEW age electro krautrock? Nein Danke! Boro go to Blackpool looking to step up the play-off push with a win that will catapult them into contention and hole the pleasure beach/kiss-me-quick hat/sickening novelty rock/sew your own sequins Tower ballroom botherers below the waterline.
I'm off soon - the seaside beckons- and I'll be back later to scribble my immediate impressions but if you want to make your predictions on this thread we'll open them later and have a laugh. If you are going, take your Pacamac as the old school away end is open to the elements.
Come On Boro!
BORO were laboured, scrappy and lucky. Passes went astray, they lacked urgency and the fluid movement of late and they needed a huge slice of good fortune to hold on against a rock bottom side who haven't even scored away from home let alone won as the ball landed to Simpson eight yards out in stoppage time and he blasted it straight at Wheater.
But isn't it great to be moaning about winning ugly than moaning about defeat?
VIC (heart) WILLO.
I was accused at half-time of wanting a 'bromance' with Leprechaun livewire Willo Flood. To be fair I have been gushing over my new favourite player in the press lounge over the past few games. Gary O'Neil is so last year. Willo runs. He tackles. He fouls. He excites. He dribbles. He chases. He snaps at heels and runs 30 yards applying a half Nelson. He plays on both flanks and in both boxes. He scores from outrageous angles. He passes. He is like the Irish Juninho. Except for that passing bit obviously.
THINGS looked bad before kick-off. The slow bubble of pre-match optimism faded fast with the news that Scott McDonald hadn't travelled and turned to panic as the team-sheet appeared. Justin Hoyte in central midfiled? What madness is this? Andrew Taylor back in the team in the vacant Adam Johnson berth.
Things looked worse as Ipswich scored after 22 seconds in a moment of disjointed defensive chaos. And in the spell that followed it looked as if the roof would cave in as Ipswich piled forward in waves,ripping down a fragile Boro left flank and peppering the box with balls that were being desperately, untidily, frantically scrambled away. We were so bad that Daryl Murphy and David Healy looked good.
HERE we go for the real start of the Strachanovite revolution. With seven new recruits in January plus a hardcore of the old team having bought into the new ethic of hard work, a high line, an emphasis on patient retention in the middle, closing quickly and 96 minutes of concentration and determination, this is now very much Strachan's side.
At Ipswich the most important part of the jigsaw - the much needed front man who is supposed to score the goal - is dropped into place as Scott McDonald is set for his debut. Fellow new boy Lee Miller may be alongside him, expererienced Steve McManus will add the leadership qualities at the back and Kyle Naughton - who was excellent in this league last year - will probably go in at right-back.
HERE we go again: the transfer window bring and buy scramble again and where the last few have been tumble weed affairs this one could get a bit busy.
I'll try and keep you updated as the day unfolds and news comes in from our bank of telephones and the official Hurworth hotline. It will be like Sky Sports News only without the rolling yellow ticker tape. Or a frozen looking bloke stood shivering to camera.
So read on....
A FEW months back we'd have lost that. The squandered chances would have set the jitters off, Bristol's bright start to the second half would have fostered and the red card would have led to the slow motion retreat and fear creeping in. We would have finished the game scrambling balls away from the box in blind panic and no doubt crumbled an conceded from a dead-ball in stoppage time.
JONNO struck two sweet goals and set up another in front of scouts from Spurs and no doubt the rest of the Premiership posse too. That will grab the headlines in the nationals, (although when quizzed GS2 brushed the questions aside) but the real story here is another few pieces of the Strachan jigsaw fell into place.
BORO needed the luck of the Irish to claw back a precious point as Willo the wisp's jammy cross from the right somehow curled and dipped and sneaked in at the far post with the keeper furiously back-pedalling. We'll take it. After all, it wasn't a game for the purists.
GORDON Strachan has a little list of players who "want to come to Boro". Well, he'd better get a move on with getting some of them in quickly because we are running out of time and bodies if we are serious about making the play-offs.
Boro are heading into what could be a watershed run of six "winnable" fixtures that they must cash in to have any hope - and they have an injury ravaged squad that is thinner than ever after a fruitless and frustrating transfer window so far.