Warnock Feels Sympathy For Boro Fans
By Robert Nichols
Friday 16 Oct 2020 21:09:00
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Neil Warnock said how he feels real sympathy for the fans today, locked out of football this season. But if we could pull a big result out against unbeaten Reading then I think our supporters will have something to celebrate this weekend.

Reading have made a brilliant start to the new campaign. Their narrow 1-0 win over former Premier Watford made it four wins out of four. What a start for manager Veljko Paunovic.

I asked Neil Warnock whether Boro's summer success at the lockdown Madejski Stadium would have any bearing on tomorrow's Riverside encounter?

NW: No, different style now, a different manager. Similar players. They have got some top players, make no mistake about that, they have spent a lot of money in the last 18 months I think, really when you look at the squad and they spent quite a bit in the summer. It's one of those things. You only worry about yourselves. We just want to give them a good game if we can, they have won every game. He has got manager of the month. So, we want to really try and enjoy ourselves. I want the players to enjoy playing and trying to beat these teams.

Sadly, Boro fans were left disappointed by the eleventh hour failure to bring Yannick Bolasie in on loan from Everton. But we did add Patrick Roberts to the mix this week and that will open out attacking options for the team and hopefully give us another exciting player to go past his opponent.

I did get a clue from the Boro boss about one player that should feature tomorrow when I asked about left back Marc Bola.

Q: Looking at players you have brought into the team, Dijksteel has done so well. Marc Bola had a really good game. Is that an example of what is possible with a player really grasping his opportunity?

NW: Yes absolutely. I had a chat with Marc. You'll remember more than me. He seemed to have been thrown in at the deep end in one game. I think you were 3-0 down at half time. Confidence. His first game. And the fans are going to have a go because they don't want to be losing. So, it is all about trying to get the confidence back up really. We have done it slowly this year. We haven't rushed him into doing that. We have had quite a lot of training sessions and games and talks, same with Dijksteel. And they have both come through very well at the minute. I am really pleased with them both. And we will need them tomorrow because I think Reading's wide players and the three that play are very, very good players. As good as anyones. So, I think it will be interesting to see how Marc copes tomorrow.

Back to the fans and once again we won't be there to cheer on our team tomorrow. Not in person at any rate.

But this week Neil Warnock did attend a fans forum and I asked the Boro gaffer how he enjoyed zooming around the world of Boro fans, including New Yorker Ellen, live from Manhattan.

NW: New York. Am hoping she invites me and my Mrs over to talk about Middlesbrough. I don't mind doing a New York fans forum.

The thing is Robert the fans are getting left out of it a little. Just by talking to a group of you, you can actually tell your group what's gone off and what questions and answers. It's not the same without coming out of my mouth really. You can read all the papers etc. I do find when I get talking to fans I can come out a little bit more, a little bit more humour as well. I think that is the best part that can come over because it is not a very nice time at the moment for everybody. I think we have got to just keep our chins up really.

Q: It has been so long since going to games that I had to check this morning if tomorrow was home or away.

NW: I know I do understand where you are coming from.

Q: You are talking about the three games this week I expect because of COVID that the itinerary must be even more difficult with whether you can stop over anywhere etc.

NW: Yes, I mean there is so much goes in to travelling now. Hotels are separate. We are a little bit soft at Middlesbrough, I'm not sure I agree with it but teams come to Middlesbrough and they have fantastic accommodation, I am on about in the dressing rooms, their area, they are looked after like Kings. Where we go we get put at the end of the stand somewhere or underneath somewhere, the pits of places and yet we look after them. I will have to have a word I think. We are a little bit too sociable with teams coming up here.

But I suppose its the way that people deal with it in the north east, they look after people don't they.

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