Going for Burton
By Robert Nichols
Monday 02 Apr 2018 09:08:00
Browse all Match Previews articles

Boro need to quickly consign the Wolves loss to history by defeating struggling Burton in this Easter Monday afternoon clash. We have been helped by other teams around us also failing to win but the whole top end of the table is now so compressed. We need to get some momentum going again with an away win this afternoon at the Pirelli Stadium. Kick off 3pm.

Following our draw at Brentford and defeat to Wolves Boro have only just about held on to the play offs in sixth place. Although we are now level on points with 5th place Derby only 2 points now separate us from 10th place Preston North End. In-form Millwall are amongst that pack closing in and far too close for comfort, snapping at our heels. We need the breathing space a win might provide.

Boro travel to East Staffs knowing we are once again in for a really hard fight with Burton scrapping for their lives to hold on to Championship status. Currently one point below Sunderland and bottom of the pack, games are now running out for Nigel Clough's men. They have suffered three straight wins just as Sunderland, Birmingham and Bolton have found some unlikely form.

We must not let the Brewers off the hook this afternoon. We must put them away as we did Birmingham at St Andrews in Garry Monk's first game in charge there. Although I don't think my nerves will stand up to another second half of all out defending.

Our main weapon will again be the incredible threat posed by Adama Traore , and what a pleasure it is to watch him play. On the other hand Tony Pulis is right to point out the absolutely scandalous tactics against him. He is being hacked down almost every time he moves forward with the ball. Referees are affording some protection as teams pick up yellow after yellow but there is the feeling teams are spreading those cautions around. Not that it did Wolves much good as two players later saw red after picking up a first yellow against Adama. Yet some of the tackles flying in on him are really poor and a player of lesser physique could well have been seriously injured some time ago. That is not right at all.

Can Patrick Bamford now build on that injury time goal and go on another scoring run again? That would be really timely. But we must look to get players in and around and supporting the former Chelsea man. Mo Besic was found wanting in the last third of the pitch on Friday we need him to be more decisive when he gets into the danger areas. Stewart Downing can make up for those costly late misses v Wolves by burying an effort or two now and also showing his considerable experience by guiding operations.

Boro have lost and won cup matches before at the Pirelli, but never clashed in the league. Back in 2011 we were coasting the FA Cup 3rd Round match 1-0 until the home team scored from out of the blue, very late doors and then shocked us by doubling the total.

It took extra time for us to see off Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's Burton in the League Cup and a goalscoring performance by the man now starring amongst the top scorers in Spain, Stuani.

Come on Boro let's take a grip of this promotion/relegation clash and start moving on up again.

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