Boro:Shut That Window
By Rob Nichols
Thursday 30 Jan 2020 23:57:00
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Just a day from the end of the January transfer window and a couple of days from Boro's home match with Blackburn Rovers and Boro fans are wondering whether there will be a late flurry of activity. But fortunately we are no longer desperate to see new faces arriving. One of the saving graces of mid table Middlesbrough.

Think back to 12 months ago and when that window slammed shut without any signings to add to the loan of Jon Obi Mikkel Boro fand ranged from furious to gutted. Tony Pulis expression was something else when he met the press revealing he had taken the players down the pub to drown their sorrows no doubt that there would be no late reinforcements for a late promotion play off push.

This term the Manager of the Month form over the festive period had removed all the alarm bells that had been ringing through the first half of the season. There were times back in early autumn when the window could not come quickly enough. The worry was Woodgate's beleaguered and injury ravaged squad would sink without trace long before any reviving business could be done.

It would have been unthinkable back in September/October that we could even countenance the sale of our star player, Darren Randolph. But his departure has not caused any particular furore. Aynsley Pears looks a worthy successor and we have backed him up with a young 6ft 5 Swiss keeper, Dejan Stojanovic.

The last 6ft 5 Swiss keeper that Boro had in the squad was brought in by returning local hero, Tony Mowbray. It is a coincidence that Jason Leutwiler will be sitting on the bench for Blackburn on Saturday.

Will there be any more significant Ins and Outs. Dael Fry's injury seems to have all but ruled out speculation around the young defender. At the time of his injury he was only fit and available orthodox centre back. It never seemed realistic that Boro would be tempted to sell him. Indeed surely it is one area we would most like to strengthen, unless we feel reasonably sure that Friend and Shotton could plug that gap.

Meanwhile, Britt Assombalonga has been linked many times, particularly with Leeds. But the fact that he has been injured would make him a risky signing for a club looking for instant results.

Meanwhile Boro have been strongly tipped to sign two players that have as much record for off the field activities as on, with Ravel Morrison and Jordan Jones. For the latter it would be a surprise return to the mother ship. The prodigal son returns from Scotland. With Ravel, could Woodgate succeed where so many others have failed before him and tame, discipline and finally realise the prodigious talents.

The injury to Patrick Roberts has perhaps made the need to bolster more important. He was succeeding in a position that Woodgate had been trying and failing to fill all season long. So, disappointing that we are back to the drawing board with that again, right before window deadline.

We will see what Friday brings. Come Saturday we will be coming up against a bang on form Blackburn Rovers. Let's hope the rest has allowed to recharge the batteries and go again against Mowbray, Downing and all.

There is a new fanzine out for the weekend featuring loads of Tony Mowbray tributes, some quite personal. With it being February we are also celebrating the anniversary of our Leap Year Carling Cup win. 2004 is a good stretch back in time now and many remember their personal stories around the triumph that finally ended the 128 years of hurt.

Fmttm Issue 603 Boro v Blackburn Rovers. Only £1.50 from around the Riverside on Saturday. It has to be a steal!



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