Jonny Howson Calls For Boro Reaction
By Robert Nichols
Friday 06 Dec 2019 14:16:00
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Can Boro react positively to the mauling at Leeds and claim the scalp of Charlton at the Riverside tomorrow, kick off 3pm. It is 20th versus 17th and an opportunity to bite into a six point gap between the two sides. Charlton stormed away at the start of the season but have faltered badly of late can we respond after hell at Elland Road and leap forward again?

Think back to the time before shipping four to Leeds and Boro ought to have beaten Hull but then secured the points in a sub standard and almost submerged by the weather, victory against Barnsley. Those points, from only the third win of the season, we hard fought for and looked like something to build on. If we can put Leeds out of body and mind then we can start to kick on again. Yet with the suspension and injury list overflowing nothing looks easy at the moment.

We will attempt to start with a less than fully fit Britt which is not at all ideal. Paddy McNair has totted up the yellows and so joins Marvin Johnson on the suspended list. Whether that buys Paddy time to get fit and up to speed again for a hectic fixture list has to be the hope.

There are so many woes elsewhere with keeper Darren Randolph likely to be out for another four weeks. Ryan Shotton is the same. Anfernee Dijksteel won't play for another three months. Hayden Coulson, only just back at left back, has hamstring problems, which can never be taken lightly. It leaves Boro with a wafer thin squad and very few options to make changes for head coach, Jonathan Woodgate. Ben Liddle did make a really positive impact in the final minutes at Elland Road, but the game was well and truly gone by then, it might be a different matter to introduce him from the start in what looks like another vital game at home to Charlton.

I talked with experienced midfielder turned defender Jonny Howson yesterday as he gave presents to children at James Cook Hospital. Howson is one player currently playing out of skin to keep the club above the relegation zone. I asked about the situation in the aftermath of the bruising Leeds defeat and looking ahead to Saturday;s big match with Charlton.

Fly: We are just talking here a few days after the Leeds match. Up until then it had been a very good week it was kind of reality check in a way. Leeds played very well.

JH: Yes possibly so. When you are going to teams that towards the top and going to their home place I think..

Fly: ...Where you used to play...

JH: Yes, and so I am obviously fully aware of what it can be like when things are going well certainly at Elland Road when they have got the crowd behind them the last thing that we needed to do was give them a leg up in the opening minutes against what is a very good side at this minute in time and their confidence is high. We need to go there and frustrate them..

Fly: We did that last season..

JH: … Yeah and hold them out as long as possible and wait for an opening but as I say we gave them a leg up in the first few minutes so we are obviously very disappointed with the result.

Fly: It didn't help conceding right on half time too.

JH: Yes, the two goals timings have arguably killed us and any hopes that we had of getting something from the game goes then. These things can happen against good sides if you don't perform well but the thing is now how we react to that it is not whether you get knocked down sometimes it is whether you get up and react again and that is what we have got to do.

Fly: Looking back, did it bring confidence the result against Barnsley, it was vital to get a win wasn't it?

JHL: Yeah, that's the thing as I said after the game. It wasn't the greatest game to watch, even from our point of view. We have played better this season probably come away sometimes with nothing or one point. So, it was nice to get that 3 points. We have been saying that for a few weeks of can't keep playing well and coming away with nothing. So, it was nice just to get the 3 points. We have got to take confidence from that, we have got to learn from results from that, sometimes you have got to win ugly, if you like and do whatever it may take to get the points.

Fly: It is going to be vital winning games at home, rather than drawing don't you think?

JH: Yes, of course it is and that is going to be the big thing. I think if you, certainly this season, as I mentioned there before there are a lot of games we have played well in and not come away with maximum points. So, if we can get into that run pick of sometimes not playing the best but pick up the points it is a good knack to have.

Fly: We play Charlton on Saturday and that could have extra significance as they could easily be a team we are competing against to stay out of the bottom three.

JH: Yes, possibly so but at this stage of the season, I don't think we are even half way as yet. Yeah OK I am fully aware of the situation that we are in at this minute in time but there are a lot of things that are going to happen and I have always been a believer of still playing for the same thing whether it is against a team at the top, a team at the bottom, the middle we focus on ourselves, we know what we have got to do, we have had a good week, this week and hopefully we can pick up another 3 points at home.

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