Up For The Cup - Boro v Burton
By Rob Nichols
Tuesday 18 Dec 2018 14:10:00
Browse all Match Previews articles


Boro midfielder Mo Besic is relishing the thought of playing Burton tonight in the League Cup Quarter Final. It is a competition that means so much to our fans, after all after two cup final defeats we finally landed our first major national trophy at Cardiff in 2002. Tonight is a chance to get through to the last four and for Mo Besic a chance to make up for his damaging red card against Blackburn. Kick off at the Riverside 7.45pm.

Boro fans can forget about the alarming fall in league form and have something to cheer as Boro look to make home advantage count and progress to a big, big cup semi final. That would certainly be something to look forward to after the festive period. But will it be a diversion from getting back to the priority of restoring our league form? Do we need to think of the bigger picture of all the league points to be won and lost over the contested festive programme? A resounding no was the answer that Mo Besic gave to this question at yesterday's pre match media conference.

“No I think when you look at the bigger picture it is too far away.” The Everton loanee told the reporters at Hurworth. “So we need to look at the fixture now. If we win the game we will be in the semi final and that will give us a boost I hope for the rest of the season.”

We could certainly do with that boost right now. All of us.

And for Mo he is not ducking any issues and holding up his hand and owning up to his red card madness.

“Yes I got a really stupid red card against Blackburn. It was unnecessary. So, I had to watch it (QPR) from outside and it was not nice to have to watch it because I wanted to play of course but it is a difficult period now we lost a game.”

The match probably comes at the right time for everyone. A chance to put QPR behind us for now and really achieve something.

“Yes of course because you can go to the semi finals and it is a big thing for a Championship club. I mean we are a big club but we play in the Championship and so it is a big thing for us to play in the semi final. I hope we will do it.”

Besic has a message for everyone and a recipe for returning to better ways.

“We just need to stick together everybody and just to get back to how we played at the beginning of the season and I hope we do it from now on.” He says “Because we could learn a lot from this weekend. We lost the game. If we learn from it, it is still a long season left to go. I hope we will do it and just continue now.”

There are a lot of games left. So lets start again now with a victory over a good footballing Burton side and let passage into a cup semi final inspire us to restart the season again. We have seen some great play, superb goals and thrills and spills all the way on the cup run so far. Boro teams have gradually become more experienced round by round. We can expect that trend to continue tonight. Burton will not be an easy team to topple. The Brewers victory in the last round against Aitor's Nottingham Forest was really impressive and we all remember what a difficult opponent they proved to be last season.

It will be a return to Teesside for the Clough family. His dad's statue is awaiting inspection in Albert Park, where Brian once walked to work at Ayresome Park. Tonight we could see more memories being made. That is what cup games are all about. And night ties especially. Let's all be part of another special night in the trophy that will always have a place in our hearts.

Come On Boro – Up For The Cup.

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