Can Boro Make it Two In a Row?
By Rob Nichols
Tuesday 12 Sep 2017 14:19:00
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Boro head down to Aston Villa looking to back up Saturday’s win with another 3 points on the road. After enduring over 12 months without an away win is it being greedy to ask for a second, just days after the Bolton win? Not a bit of it. A win tonight and we are right in the thick of the promotion mix. Kick off 7.45pm, Villa Park and there are tickets on the turnstile.

Garry Monk has been asking for more from his team and underlining that it is all about the team not the individual. Adama Traore tore apart the Trotters on Saturday but we cannot expect him to strike gold every week. In many respects, Traore’s dazzling run for the first goal bailed his team mates out from a poor first half display. They all put that right in the second half which was the kind of strong team effort that Garry Monk will be looking to build upon tonight.

The Boro manager is certain to be trying to assess the recovery rate of all the players after the win at the Macron. With a game on Saturday at home to QPR and a return to Villa Park in the League cup next week he is going to have to carefully manage his playing resources. But I wouldn’t have thought he would want to make too many changes unless he has to tonight. We clicked right into gear in that final half hour at the Macron. Can we pick up from where we left off this evening?

Villa will hope that the probable return of 19-goal top-scorer Jonathan Kodjia will spark a reaction from the team. Manager Steve Bruce described Villa as “lethargic” in the 0-0 draw at home to Brentford at the weekend. Kodjia should be fit for the first time this season after suffering a broken ankle.

After the signing of John Terry, Villa became many people’s pre season favourites for promotion but they have flattered to deceive for the most part this season. But they would love an opportunity to post a message by turning over the team that succeeded them as promotion favourites, namely Middlesbrough.

We are hoping that our own hotshot, Britt Assombalonga can burst the net again tonight after bagging a brace at Bolton. Can Britt and Traore beat Terry for pace? Certainly Adama had one of his worst games in a Boro shirt against Terry and Chelsea on our Premier League relegation day defeat. But this is a whole new ball game and a chance to put that firmly out of mind and out of sight.

It is always an occasion to go to one of the grand old stadia of English football in Villa Park. Of course we have bitter sweet memories of losing an FA Cup semi final here to West Ham and Dancing Pards. Time to make some new memories today and undermine Villa’s hopes while underlining our own promotion intentions.

Come On Boro

 



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