Functional Boro hoping for happy ending – Interview
Friday, 22nd Feb 2019 10:18 by Clive Whittingham
Middlesbrough are firmly in the play-off picture ahead of our visit on Saturday, but whether you’d want to watch them every week is another matter says Riverside regular James Boothby.
It’s looked like a very functional season for Boro so far, how would you assess it?
Saw a bit of anger towards Pulis in the wake of Burton/Newport cup disasters - how’s he doing overall? What’s the general feeling towards him?
Just one January signing, what do you make of Mikel and the month of business as a whole?
Stand out players this season?
Darren Randolph in goal has been an absolute star. Single handedly kept us in games at times, and his triple save against Leeds the other week was superb. I know I am biased, but the best keeper in the league for me. Lewis Wing in the middle has also had a good season. From playing Northern League two years ago to one of the first names on the teamsheet. Always looking for a forward pass, and has an eye for goal.
Weak links in the side?
Surprisingly, a few question marks about the defence in terms of numbers. Flint is out injured, with potentially Friend also out leaves us looking a touch short of options. Howson and Saville played as wingbacks against Blackburn and both played really well and with Ayala back from suspension hopefully we should not have too many issues. Scoring goals has also been a problem – Hugill works hard but has suffered from lack of support but again against Blackburn Assombalonga and Fletcher both started and looked good together. It all depends which formation Pulis goes with really.
Do you think you’ll see the promotion through and what are the consequences if you don’t?
Top two look out of reach for us I think, and other sides around us are in better form if Norwich and Leeds slip up. Play-offs has to be the target realistically, and we have a relatively kind (in Championship terms) run of fixtures coming up. In the play-offs anything can happen, and we do have a good record against the top six this season. If we do miss out then I can only see the purse strings getting tightened further. Would expect us to try and get rid of the big earners off the wage bill, and look to lower leagues for a few rough diamonds. And I would not expect Pulis to still be here...
The Twitter @jamesyboz, @loftforwords
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