Weekend makers not breakers!

Tuesday 6th December 2011 16:05

Mowbray: Setting the right tone

Mowbray: Setting the right tone

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Boro FanZoner Paul Todd says the team are finally making his weekends and not ruining them.

Last gasp joy

There is no better feeling than a last minute winner and Malaury Martin's thunderous free-kick without doubt made my weekend.

It was a refreshing change to nick a win in the last ten minutes of a game rather than to drop points as we have done so many times in the last couple of seasons. This time the weekend was made and not broke by football.

Whilst the game may have not been the most eye-catching or contained much fluid attacking play, the performance against Bristol City was tactically spot on and all credit goes to Tony Mowbray.

Mogga set out to frustrate the home team and their support with an aim to catch City on the break or create something from a set-piece. The tactic ultimately worked with Marvin Emnes winning a free-kick in the last couple of minutes which Martin hammered home.

The flexible 5-3-2 formation Mowbray has put together has worked a treat on the road. The defence looks far more solid with three centre-backs than it does with just a twosome. Our wingbacks look threatening and take up some good positions in the oppositions half.

Justin Hoyte may not be the best in an attacking sense, however his ball retention and positioning is excellent in the right wing-back spot. Joe Bennett is assured in possession and can cause problems when attacking a full back from the left.

There is no doubt that Rhys Williams is a fundamental part of the Boro team and Mowbray's plans. Williams played at centre back alongside Tony McMahon and Matthew Bates on Saturday and was a brilliant stopper. He has an air of confidence and calmness about him, in a similar way to how former Boro defender Jonathan Woodgate defends.

surprised

The Aussie is destined to play in the Premier League and hopefully it will be with Boro, while I wouldn't be too surprised to see a host of clubs in for him in January.

I have to admit, realistically I don't think it is possible for us to win promotion to the Premier League through one of the two automatic promotion spots. I would say West Ham have one place sewn up and with the quality in depth which Leicester have they should be aiming for second.

To challenge for one of the top spots we would need at least four top signings, which would not be financially viable. A proven striker would be a must along with a creative midfielder and an out and out winger who can beat a fullback for pace.

Over the festive period the games come thick and fast with Boro playing three fixtures in eight days.

With our remaining games in December coming against Brighton, Hull and Peterborough all at home and Cardiff away, I would hope we could amass nine points from the four games.

Although our home form is becoming a slight concern, having drawn too many games from winning positions.

The problem we have playing at home is we have to attack. Teams enjoy coming to the Riverside and playing in a similar way to how we play away from home, sitting back and catching us on the break.

Playing the 5-3-2 formation wouldn't appease the supporters at home and would result in too many dull bore-draws with both teams getting behind the ball.

Perspective is important at this time of year, Boro sit 3rd in the Championship. I personally would have taken a top ten place this season with a slightly ambitious hope of nicking the last playoff place.

The position only goes to show the job Tony Mowbray has done at the club. In just over a year he has worked miracles on and off the pitch.

The club's finances appear to be back in order and we no longer seem to be paying any players over-inflated wages.

Despite a fair few empty seats still, Boro are only one of two clubs to show an increase in attendance this season. It just goes to show the popularity of Mogga and also the good form of the team on the pitch.

I'm enjoying my weekends lately and may they please, please continue to be enjoyable!

Sat - 26th Jul 2014
Time Home team Score Away team Preview/Report
15:00 Rochdale v Middlesbro'
Wed - 30th Jul 2014
Time Home team Score Away team Preview/Report
19:30 Hartlepool v Middlesbro'
Sat - 2nd Aug 2014
Time Home team Score Away team Preview/Report
15:00 Middlesbro' v Villarreal
Sat - 9th Aug 2014
Time Home team Score Away team Preview/Report
15:00 Middlesbro' v Birmingham
Tue - 12th Aug 2014
Time Home team Score Away team Preview/Report
19:45 Oldham v Middlesbro'

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