By Rob Nichols
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Boro fans make the long trek down to the south coast to play our former Championship adversaries AFC Bournemouth. Can we possibly pull something out of the relegation fires and record a first league win of 2017 and under Steve Agnew's stewardship?
We will have to do it without injured skipper Grant Leadbitter and goalkeeper Victor Valdez. Yet you wonder if we feel encouraged by the much improved performances of late. We certainly competed well against Arsenal. Can we summon the belief to crack the Cherries on their home ground?
After the Arsenal game we must feel that we have already left the last chance saloon empty handed. We have had a lot of last chances lately because of the dip in form from Swansea and Hull. Even if relegation does seem inevitable it would mean a lot of start recording some results. Ending the campaign by adding to that tiny total of four wins could be a platform to build on when we re start one step down in August.
Bournemouth provide some hope because of the number of goals they have shipped this term. Negredo has finally re-found some goal scoring touch and that supply line from Downing has looked our best bet of late. Ramirez has disappointed to the extreme of course but did look more like his old self on Monday. His replacement in that game, Traore, promised so much but then was blown hopelessly off course. We need to try and get something like the best out of the two if we can.
Remember travelling Boro fans, hold on to your tickets and then contact Virgin Media to get a £10 refund and make it Twenty's Plenty for away fans. A welcome return for such a long haul.
It will be a sad journey we make with the news of the death of former defensive rock Ugo Ehiogu. There will be a lot of reflection about Ugo and his passing at such a young age. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and close friends.