Boro v Oxford - Up For The Cup
By Robert Nichols
Saturday 18 Feb 2017 11:27:00
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Boro play Oxford United this afternoon – in the FA CUP 5th Round – let's all get up for the cup at the Riverside 3pm kick off. Come On Boro.

I don't know about you but I am really looking forward to this afternoon's match. It is a break from the stresses of Premier survival but a 5th round FA Cup tie also means we are just two matches away from Wembley (semi final). With a big 3000 + contingent from Oxford there is bound to be a big cup atmosphere. The FA Cup is still special. It carries all that history and extra buzz of excitement. Can't wait.

League One Oxford United have already put Championship Rotherham and of course Newcastle to the sword. Michael Appleton's side have a big prize to shoot for in attempting to reach the quarter finals of the historic trophy. They are going well in the league, or they were until their five match unbeaten run came to a halt with a defeat this week. The U's are also in the semi final of the EFL Checkatrade Trophy, so going on past all those Premier Academy sides as well League One and Two opponents. Oxford can smell Wembley in two, possibly three directions, though they are bang in the middle of League One in 11th, so a good way off the play offs at present.

The club does have some cup pedigree, twenty years before Boro, Oxford with an attack led by future Liverpool forward John Aldridge defeated QPR 3-0 in the old Wembley League Cup Final.

This afternoon should be an opportunity to get George Friend back into action and could provide more game time for Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede, Stewart Downing and maybe Grant Leadbitter. Might we see Daniel Ayala? But recent signing Adlene Guedioura is cup tied so will have to sit this one out.

We will have to play better than we did against Accrington Stanley. Viktor Fischer dropped down the pecking order after his display that day. If he gets another opportunity, like everyone else handed a start, he must seize it.

Boro must play with the attitude, intensity and commitment shown against Everton last week. But we must start to show more intent in the final third of the pitch. Most of all we must start getting shots on target and scoring goals. A good win today propels us into the Quarter Finals and cup dream land it also gives us confidence we can carry forward into the Premier. Today could be so important for the rest of the season.

Here is what we had to say about Boro v Oxford and also glancing back to the Everton match and forward to next week's relegation “six pointer” at Crystal Palace. Fmttm Podcast.

Come On Boro and Up The Boro




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