Will The Exodus To Wigan be a Road to Victory?
By Rob Nichols
Friday 01 Mar 2019 17:22:00
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As Boro fans prepare for a mass exodus over the Pennines there is a word of warning from manager Tony Pulis, do not take anything for granted. While Boro are on a good run and playing with confidence, he will not be underestimating the opposition. Pulis will have the team prepared but we must remain grounded, there are no givens and no easy games in this league.

Boro will be looking to build on impressive victories away at Blackburn and at home to QPR by making it three in a row at Wigan. Thousands are making the trip from Teesside in the hope of seeing a Boro side marshalled in the middle from Mikel continue an impressive run of results against Paul Cook's Wigan.

The game will come too soon for George Friend and Aden Flint, Tony Pulis revealed today. So that could mean an unchanged defence from that which thwarted QPR. Could it also possible mean an unchanged team as well with the gauntlet laid down for players like Fletcher and I suppose even Besic to prove they are undroppable.

While Boro fans are starting to steal themselves, harbouring glimmering hopes of automatic promotion the manager is showing all his experience in trying to keep everyone's feet firmly on the ground.

“There are a quarter of the games to go, we are looking at 13 games to go and so the road will still be bumpy, we will have good times and bad times along the way, “ he warned at the press conference today.

Put like that an awful lot can happen in a quarter of the season. A lot of water under the Transporter Bridge, but at least we have taken a monkey off our backs by finally winning at home in the league this calendar year. Now we must continue the route upwards away on the road.

"What you have got to do, as we have done all season and hopefully we will maintain is, if we have a bumpy patch we seem to get out of it and push on. That's what we have got to be ready for again. You can't think that it is just going to be smooth all the time. But you've got to stay level, you have got to stay focused and you've got to stay pointed in the same direction as a group and hopefully we'll be able to do that."

Pulis would not concede that Wigan is the kind of opposition a team eyeing promotion should be despatching.

“It is disrespectful, what we have got to do, we have got to make sure we put a team out that has a go and a team that gives it everything.”

The team has certainly done that in recent games. But... “Unless you work hard and show them the respect they deserve there is no easy game in this league.”

Wigan have earned that respect from the way they have adapted since gaining promotion to the Championship last summer.

“They were promoted last year and have had a good season in respect to where they are at the moment,” said Pulis, “for the teams who have been promoted it is always going to be tough in the initial year adapting and they've done well. I think they they will be pleased with their points tally so far.”

So, lets go there with real hope but let no one get carried away, there is still a job to do in every game we play. And Wigan will put up a real fight in front of their own fans. That is where our travelling legions can play a big part and turn the atmosphere in our favour. But we must keep grounded because even if things turn against us tomorrow, the bottom line is simply that we win more than those behind us to stay in that play off spot. It is ours to lose now. So, stay together and we can and will secure it.

After saying that, winning another game would represent a fantastic way to knock on the door of spring. If we could put together a strong finish to the season, then together with the impressive start it will be enough to take us into extra games at the season end. That is the aim now and anything else a bonus.

But lets enjoy ourselves in Wigan. Lets roar on the team to a win.

Up The Boro

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