Can Boro Do the Business at Blackburn?
By Rob Nichols
Friday 16 Aug 2019 13:39:00
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There will be a Boro fan exodus across the Pennines this Saturday hoping to see a first win of the season at Blackburn. With Blackburn also not having won in the League this head to head will have a fair amount riding on it. Add Stewart Downing and Danny Graham playing for Boro legend Tony Mowbray at Blackburn then you have so much extra spice. Kick off 3pm at Ewood Park.

Boro Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate refocused straight after the disappointment of losing at home to Crewe.

“It wasn't a result we were looking for, “ he admitted, “but they have given me everything in training and that has been no different over the past 2 day. We look to Blackburn now and move on.”

Once you strip away the many negatives from the performance and result against League Two you are left with no one else stepping up to challenge the squad that has so far played in the League.

Jonathan Woodgate admitted. “The first half was negative and the second half was a lot better when Britt, Paddy McNair and Ashley Fletcher came on. So that was the positive I took from the game. As soon as the game finished I move on to Blackburn.”

He elaborated further. “When you have a different starting eleven you expect people to be knocking your door down but that didn't happen in the game. The team is quite simple to pick for Saturday.”

So, no step up for Tavernier, Bola, Dijksteel or indeed Marcus Browne. But George Friend is likely to be included, probably from the start, especially as Hayden Coulson is struggling with a knock.

Our head coach wanted to underline what George Friend and Jonny Howson bring to the squad.

“Attitude is the biggest thing. You can have talented kids but if they don't have that work rate and desire and the hunger to succeed and they turn up everyday in games and when you are playing against lesser opposition you will get nowhere. But if you have got players who maybe do not have as much talent but they have got the right mental state and how they want to play and how they want to do it each day then they will go further than the players with talent.”

Now is where Woodgate pointed out Friend and Howson.

“You can try and teach it but it is how much the players want to absorb it. I will give a prime example of George Friend, what he is like every single day in training. Again, Jonny Howson, every single day in training, every game, every gym session does it right. What he brings to our team, a Friend or a Howson is unbelievable amounts of professionalism and they are leaders to our younger players at this football club of how things should be done. They do it right every single day, never moan, never complain, they just do it. They are the perfect players to coach and to have in our team. We are so lucky to have them types of players.

If the young players don't listen to those type of players or watch them or see how they are every day in training then they are foolish but I am sure they do. But those two are fantastic people and the more the merrier for me in my club, brilliant.”

So, can George and Jonny spread a little attitude, experience around with the many talents on show at Blackburn and will Ashley Fletcher and Paddy McNair have the same impact from the start as they had in the second half against Crewe?

Jonathan Woodgate believes Fletcher is getting better and better and it does seem the big forward is starting to now fulfil his potential. Remember he should have had a goal given against Brentford and that would have been three in three games. Let's hope that is four on Saturday.

Come on Boro and Up The Boro.



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