Ashley Fletcher Says Fans are our Twelfth Man
By Robert Nichols
Friday 20 Dec 2019 13:22:00
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Boro take on Stoke City tonight and forward Ashley Fletcher believes the home fans hold the key. With the Riverside’s backing Fletcher is confident we can win this 6 pointer and start to make the stadium a fortress again. Kick off 7.45pm tonight see you at the Riverside. Your support is vital.

Ashley Fletcher reckons Boro can win this 6 pointer and that he can provide some of the much needed fire power. If Boro could defeat Michael O’Neill’s Stoke side then it would knock back their revival but also be a major pre festive boost for us. It would also mean 3 straight home victories, just the kind of run to keep our head above the relegation waters. But one thing is for sure we need to end these red cards and stop helping our opponents over the line, otherwise the fans don’t become the twelfth man but rather the eleventh or tenth at Swansea. Time to get disciplined, take our chances and shut down the Stoke revival.

Here is a short interview kindly given to me by Ashley Fletcher at the Boro Children’s party at the Riverside on Tuesday. After joining in lots of activities with the children, Ashley gave me a short interview and kindly posed for a photo by the Christmas tree.

Ashley FletcherFly: You have obviously enjoyed this party with the children.

AF: I think it is good fun isn’t it. It is giving something back and obviously we were all kids once as well and coming to see your heroes is really nice. If we can just give a little bit back to the fans then we like to do it.

Fly: This is Christmas party but Christmas must be a more difficult and serious time for footballers, especially at Boro.

AF: Yes, it is for us. Obviously we have got 6 or 7 games in the space of 2 or 3 weeks and a lot of points to play for and that can propel us to where we want to go. It starts on Friday against Stoke and if we get a good result then we will go into the Huddersfield game full of confidence. Friday is an important game. But if we put a good performance in like we have been doing at home then hopefully we can get 3 points.

Fly: We spoke a couple of weeks ago between the two home wins and we said how essential those home wins can be.

AF: I think our home form has been good the last few months. And we need to carry that on as the fans give us a lot of confidence when we come here (Riverside), they get right behind us and they are like our twelfth man really, so it will be good to see the Riverside full of our fans again and they can help us, they have been fantastic all season. For us it will be really important to get 3 points.

Fly: On the road, tremendous to fight back against Forest and we were half way to come back at Swansea and that would have been a really good return.

AF: Yes, exactly. Just a little bit of naivety and ill discipline cost us at Swansea. Even if we had taken a point there I think it would have been a positive week. I think that would have been 5 points out of 9 which would have been fantastic. Like I say, the performance was good overall, I thought we played really well and I thought there only looked one team winning the game. Mistakes cost us. But we will move on to Friday night.

Fly: You yourself were linking up so well with Britt before his injury. But you have had to play more up on your own but then you have linked up well with Tav also.

AF: Yes, to be honest with you, I think, whether I am playing with Britt or not, me and Britt have got a really good connection. Having a partner like that is fantastic but obviously sometimes if either one of us is injured you need to adapt. Tav’s stepped into that role where I have been playing and he has played really well and scored a couple of goals. Whoever I play with I am just happy to be on the pitch and hopefully Britt’s back for Friday but if not we will keep playing as we have been.

Fly: I can see a difference in your game, playing up there as a target man and being able to shield the ball and playing back to goal, maybe that wouldn’t have been your game in the past.

AF: Yes I think it is important to have two different sides to your game. Even though I am tall people wouldn’t really recognise me as a big target man. I think people would say I am someone that runs at players and runs in behind and gets in on goal so for me it is good to learn that side of the game and keep adapting. And keep adding strings to my bow, if you like. If I can keep progressing like that then I will be really happy.

Fly: And hopefully we can see more goals from you at home.

AF: Yes, hopefully. I have got 3 at home now. If I can end 2019 with a few more goals against Stoke and Huddersfield then I will be really happy. Hopefully that will push us up to where we want to be.


Come On Boro – tonight – be there to support your team.  7.45pm.


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