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[Archived] Boro 1 - 0 Rovers.


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Saturday sees Rovers travel up to the Riverside.

Form guide:

Boro – LWLWDD

Rovers – DWLWWL

I’m not sure how this game will go. We all have fond memories of last year’s game at the Riverside. The debut of Jon Stead, who scored the winner seems a long time ago and let’s pray and hope that Stead can score at the Riverside and begin to show what he can do for us again.

Our confidence may not be at it’s best come Saturday, depending on the result on Wednesday evening after the Chelsea game.

But based on recent performances in the league, I’m being hopeful in predicting a 2-2 draw.

Here's some questions and answers from a mate of mine, Marc.

What were the supporters expectations of Boro for this season?

I expected nothing more than a top ten finish for us this season. The players that have been brought in to the side have settled extremely quickly and gelled together.

Steve McClaren has done a great job at Boro, making some excellent signings for good prices in the summer, which of the summer signings has impressed you the most?

Ray Parlour has been brilliant for us. A much better player than I gave him credit for when he was with Arsenal. There's nothing fancy about him but gets everywhere and is always there biting at the opposition, tackling, intercepting and he has a cracking shot on him - he is going to whack one home eventually. He was our least glamorous summer signing and people were dubious about him but he's a firm favourite on Teesside now and as the chant goes: "ONE CHARLIE DIMMOCK, THERE'S ONLY ONE CHARLIE DIMMOCK".

When he has played(which hasn't been often) Mark Viduka has been superb, he brings the best out of Hasselbaink and as a pairing they are dynamite.

How do you feel Mr Souness is doing at Newcastle and are you the top club in the North East now?

Mr Souness, in Teesside eyes, is doing a fantastic job at Newcastle and long may it continue!

Yes we are the top club in the north-east. Middlesbrough's first choice xi is a better TEAM than Newcastle's. That's the key for us, it's a happy camp and we've a team of honest battlers but with a bit of flair chucked in as well. It's a great mix.

There are several players that have come through Middlesbrough’s successful youth system so far, are there anymore to make the step up to the first team?

In addition to Stuart Parnaby, Andrew Davies, Stewart Downing, Tony McMahon, James Morrison and Danny Graham the next couple to come through, I reckon, will be central defenders Matthew Bates and David Wheater - they've been a formiddable defensive barrier for our youth cup winning side over the last couple of years and they should break through over the next couple of seasons.

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is also highly thought of and has already had a call-up to the England under-21 squad, currently on loan at Barnsley.

Downing has impressed many so far this season and looks to have a great future. When do you think he’ll be eventually picked for the full England squad?

I think it's more or less accepted that he's going to be in the next England party for the Holland game, he should have been in for the Spain game at the Bernebeu.

Middlesbrough are in a similar situation to what we were two years ago. We had Duff, like Downing a good left winger and couldn’t say no to big money for the player. Do you fear the same will happen with Downing?

Long-term - yes. Downing has got everything and it's inevitable that the big clubs will come sniffing around. We will never, realistically, be in a position to offer him regular champions league football and the more the likes of Man Utd are linked with him - the more he'll become attracted to the thought of playing on the biggest club stage.

In the meantime though we're not a club that urgently needs to cash in on our players and it would take some bid to even tempt us to sell him. He is our best player and there would be a riot if he was allowed to leave in the near future.

In the Rovers team, does anyone you think look to cause Boro many problems?

Paul Dickov always seems to be a nuiscence. He scored against us twice for Leicester last year and he'll keep our shaky defence on their toes.

Apart from him the only worry for me would be Savage and whoever his partner is in midfield(Ferguson, Thompson, Tugay or whoever) getting ontop of our midfield which will be minus George Boateng - for me our most influential player besides Downing.

What kind of team do you think McClaren will put out on Saturday?

We're hoping to have Bobo Balde and Geremi signed in time but going by what we've got currently available I would hazard a guess at:

Schwarzer, Reiziger, Queudrue, Southgate, Cooper, Parlour, Zenden, Morrison, Downing, Hasselbaink, Job.

What are your impressions of Blackburn this season?

Woefull against us at Ewood(i'm sure you don't need reminding of that!) but Hughesy seems to be slowly steadying the ship. On paper Blackburn look a handy side especially as that defence seems to have been strengthened however I look at Blackburn's pool of strikers and nobody genuinely puts the frighteners on me.

I think Rovers will stay up fairly comfortably.

Your prediction for the game?

It's always a tight, scrappy game between Boro and Rovers at the Riverside with a single goal usually winning it. This is a game we must win though and despite our recent slump in form, our results(if not performances) at home are still impressive - the only sides I fear at the Riverside are the top 3. Outside of them I fancy us to beat anybody at the Riverside and I think we'll take it 2-1.

All the best, if you're coming up for the game enjoy it and I just hope it's not a similar game to last season which was quite possibly one of the worst games of football I have ever witnessed.

Marc

Up The Boro

Cheers to Marc for answering my questions.

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Thanks for the preview RIML.

I remember Noel Brotherstone getting sent off at Ayresome Park, and we where winning 2-0 at the time. As he walked down the tunnel, he got a load of verbals from the smoggies, so he stuck two fingers up at them. Needless to say, he had a trip to Lancaster Gate, along with Bob Saxton. Bobby stuck up for him, at the hearing though, saying he was merely pointing out the scoreline to the home fans.

I predict a similar scenario on Saturday, replacing Brothhead with Savage.

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If anyone is going by train get yourselves into Hogan's in Darlington before the game for the cheapest beer in the western world. Its about £1.20 a pint and there are several other cracking alehouses in Darlo with similarly priced beer. Darlington is only a few miles from Boro and a much better place to go pre-match, Boro is a bit of a dump.

I can see us sneaking this one 1-0 with a Savage free-kick.

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game is reportedly on ppv but I have not seen this anywhere else aprat form Rovers page 504 itv

Can anyone confirm if this game is on live on either ppv or any of the foreign satellite channels locally?

I've checked out satfootball.com and it's on a channel called supersport6sa or something. Is that available in any of the pubs in the area?

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Think this one will be a draw 1-1 with Dickov for us and a Matteo own goal for them in the dying seconds of injury time.

Will in the pub opposite the train station by 11:30. Not too sure what it called but when you come out the train station turn left and down the stairs and it right in front of you just accross the road.

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game is reportedly on ppv but I have not seen this anywhere else aprat form Rovers page 504 itv

Can anyone confirm if this game is on live on either ppv or any of the foreign satellite channels locally?

I've checked out satfootball.com and it's on a channel called supersport6sa or something. Is that available in any of the pubs in the area?

MY TICKET SAYS 3 WEBSITE SAYS 3????GRRRRRRRRRRRWTF?

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