What a Difference a Win Can Make
By Rob Nichols
Wednesday 27 Nov 2019 15:26:00
Browse all Match Previews articles


Boro need to win to leapfrog over Wigan and Luton and spring out of the bottom three. Obviously a defeat would be very bad news for our opponents, bottom club Barnsley. For which reason it is almost the first six pointer of the season. And a win could be priceless for our season as a whole.

Boro have to record only a third victory of the season tonight to fight our way ahead of the relegation pack. Last night Stoke City's new manager bounce was deflated by defeat away at mid table Cardiff. So once new boss bounce blocked another. Millwall pegged back Wigan, who once again failed to convert a draw to a win, a familiar story for Boro as well, of course. But Luton's home win over Charlton didn't do us any favours. It just shows how we have to start picking up home wins. All the draws in the world nudge you along, then the opposition sneak a win and you are back to square one again. Huddersfield drawing at home against high-flying Swansea City is a case in point. Boro can be challenging the Terriers again by winning tonight.

We will have to win without George Friend, whose latest calf injury will keep him out well until the New Year. Captain George made such a big difference when he played at QPR. Fortunately he is still playing a captain's innings off the pitch with his presence in the dressing room but we will continue to sorely miss him on the pitch. It would be very hard to buy the kind of experience and steadying influence in the January transfer window. Sadly, George might not be back until after that window slams close.

Darren Randolph is struggling along at present and is rated 50/50 for tonight. It is fortunate Ainsley Pears has proven himself a more than capable deputy but if you have the best player in the division in a position then you want him out there between your goal posts.

George Saville remains suspended and so further reduces our midfield options. I wonder if he would have been the sub rather than Clayton against Hull. Marvin Johnson begins his own three match ban. The left flanker had been playing so well before he saw red. Now the door is open for either Hayden Coulson or Marc Bola to step up. I am opting for fully fit again Coulson to get the nod and to hopefully begin to make the impact he promised at the start of the season.

Boro need to forget the second period against Hull and get back to hassling opponents, we have drawn costly mistakes from both QPR as well as the Tigers of late. We need to return to the groove of running at teams with McNair and Howson providing the leg power from the right. Can we put together more of that swift link up play up front which saw Britt and Ashley Fletcher cut through Hull?

It was two precious points dropped on Saturday by our own stupid error. But the eleven tonight have a second chance to finally secure an all too rare win. We have to turn two wins for the season into three. This means overcoming a Barnsley side that have been knocking on the door and maybe unlucky to keep losing. They have the new manager in of course, Austrian Gerhard Struber seems on paper at least to be a really good choice. Mind you it was ridiculous to dispense with Daniel Stendel so soon. Boro fans maybe take note. You don't always do yourself favours in changing too course too rashly. In saying that clearly Woodgate does need a win.

We have been playing much better of late and you do feel the win can come sooner rather than later. What a difference it would make winning tonight. We can do it.

Come On Boro

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