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JoeH

Middlesbrough (H)

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Enjoyed that today, everyone worked their socks off- Dack doesn't stop running, cracking player.

A-side from the tremendous work-rate, bloody hell, did we get stuck in!  Snapping into challenges left, right and centre. Johnson absolutely nailed one of their players in the first half- a nasty tackle, we've been on the receiving end too many times, so it's great to us giving it back. Speaking of Johnson, what a beast he is, bullies the opposition and brilliant in the air.

For me though MOM would have to be Cunningham. What a difference having him in the side makes. Gets up and down, looks very tidy and again, isn't afraid of throwing himself into a tackle.

I think we've lacked aggression in recent years and as such had a soft underbelly that, even in league one, was exposed at times. 

I sound like a right thug, I'm not, I like attractive attacking football, but unless you're absolutely unreal you have to able to mix it up- and boy, there's nothing like a few blood n' thunder tackles to get the crowd going- Travis, what a lad!

When you throw in the likes of Dack, Rothwell, Arma, Gallagher it's easy to get a bit carried away.

A bit puzzled why Armstrong played down the middle and we kept Gallagher out wide- but hey-ho, we got a solid win- I'd have to say Mowbray got it right today.

Boro, on the other hand, look to have taken a big step backwards. Assombolonga did absolutely nothing, they looked like a side devoid of ideas and passion. I think they'll struggle this season based off that offering.

 

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Just now, DE. said:

Other than the penalty did we have a lot of other opportunities from open play? Curious as to how we fared creatively.

We had a couple of decent chances. Buckley could have made a name for himself, but blazed over, from a good ball in from Gallagher 

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Just now, DE. said:

Other than the penalty did we have a lot of other opportunities from open play? Curious as to how we fared creatively.

Second half created a few good chances, Buckley set one up for Rothwell and had a good chance himself that he skied

A move towards the end of the game was glorious but a block came in

Better signs for sure 

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Just now, DE. said:

Other than the penalty did we have a lot of other opportunities from open play? Curious as to how we fared creatively.

In the first half we created a few openings from open play. Gallagher came close to getting on the end of two balls and Graham on another. 2nd half was a bit quieter as we tired but Rothwell should've done better with Buckley's squared ball. 

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Just now, Neal said:

Personally think our lack of attacking threat is getting midfield runners in behind the forward, couple of times that happened in the last 20 mins and we looked dangerous, there's a lack of fluidity in our decision making. Almost like the midfielders are so conscious of holding their position on the pitch that they're not willing to be brave enough make offensive runs, the odd occasion they do it really opens teams up. 

i think its all to do with the start we've had but a do agree with you

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Just now, Ossydave said:

The comparison between pre and post match Gallagher comments makes for great reading 😎

I did say I hoped he made my comments look silly at the end of the match. His best performance since returning, undoubtedly. It remains to be seen whether he can fulfil that wide role on a consistent basis, and there are much bigger question marks about whether we should utilise strikers on the flanks all the time anyway. But he played very well and put a real shift in.

Our inability to carve out clear chances in the area is still concerning me. There'd have been less post-match optimism if Dicksteel hadn't enhanced his application for the freedom of the Borough. But by God it feels good to win a league game again!

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Just now, bluebruce said:

I did say I hoped he made my comments look silly at the end of the match. His best performance since returning, undoubtedly. It remains to be seen whether he can fulfil that wide role on a consistent basis, and there are much bigger question marks about whether we should utilise strikers on the flanks all the time anyway. But he played very well and put a real shift in.

Our inability to carve out clear chances in the area is still concerning me. There'd have been less post-match optimism if Dicksteel hadn't enhanced his application for the freedom of the Borough. But by God it feels good to win a league game again!

Well tbh it's a new role to him, but you'd expect if he keeps playing there he's only going to get better and better at it.

I'm not being a smart arse either, I groaned a bit when I saw the lineup too.

Edited by Ossydave

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Just now, Ossydave said:

The comparison between pre and post match Gallagher comments makes for great reading 😎

Looked like Gally was there for the long wide ball from defence. Trouble the only one with decent distribution was the keeper. But he was damn good.

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Just now, bluefred said:

Just glad we stopped the rot . Now let’s build on this and take 3pts off hull .

Big question for that Hull game...I assume Tosin will be fit again, so who starts in central defence?

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Referee was poor today blew for everything. Travis deserved his Man of Match was brilliant alongside Johnson. Cunningham was good and look much more assured than Bell. Game wasnt a classic but much improvement on the last home league game with Charlton

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Just now, bluebruce said:

Big question for that Hull game...I assume Tosin will be fit again, so who starts in central defence?

Same again for me

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Just now, Ossydave said:

Well tbh it's a new role to him, but you'd expect if he keeps playing there he's only going to get better and better at it.

I'm not being a smart arse either, I groaned a bit when I saw the lineup too.

He did play there for us for a few games last time he was here I recall. The main thing is he's such a big lad he seems a really odd fit there. But he looked faster today, and made better decisions. Ultimately I'm not sure he can play there long-term, as he's yet to show he has a real cross on him. Then again, TM doesn't seem to give a hairy shit about these wide attackers being able to put good crosses in.

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Not to dwell on a negative but Walton was lucky today for that one he came and missed 

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I've said before I'll accept Gallagher on RW as long as we play Graham up front with Dack behind him. It's a shame that we've spent £12m on strikers and 34 year old Danny Graham is still by far our best option up top, but it is what it is. Dack brought down for the penalty, Graham converts. That'll do. Gallagher playing well on the right today is great as it will hopefully mean he stays out there and DG remains in the centre. It's obviously a shame that it will likely be at the expense of Rothwell but what can you do at this point? I get the feeling Gallagher has to play and Downing has probably been brought in under the impression he's a first teamer too, so it looks like Rothwell will have to wait for an injury to happen before he gets a run in the team. 

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Good close game today.  Nice to get a win and pretty much everyone played their part.  I didn’t think anyone stood head and shoulders above the others but special mention for Gallagher who did surprisingly well on the right wing, worked really hard and even put a few good balls in.  We looked fairly solid and didn’t give too many chances away.  We didn’t make a bucket load of chances and still need to work on that, though we had a few after Boro started to go for it and Rothwell should have scored.  Cunningham was much better than Bell has been.  Following on a decent performance but disappointing result versus Fulham much more optimism around the ground, even a few Mowbray chants which he was quick to acknowledge.

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Just now, Ossydave said:

Same again for me

Tosin on bench to replace Bell. Strong bench with Rothwell Armstrong and Buckley coming on today stick with that

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18th certainly feels a lot better than 24th. Reading still to play, could potentially push us back to 19th. 

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Just now, bluebruce said:

Big question for that Hull game...I assume Tosin will be fit again, so who starts in central defence?

Clean sheet = same again. Has to be really. Cue Tosin walking back into the side 😉

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Dacky and Graham together obviously showed they're still probably our number one option.

But, I've got to say, for the short period at the end with Buckley behind Armstrong, we looked a lot closer to this "new style of play" we've been hearing so much about. Certainly a lot more quick passing along the ground.

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Just now, Gary C said:

Referee was poor today blew for everything. Travis deserved his Man of Match was brilliant alongside Johnson. Cunningham was good and look much more assured than Bell. Game wasnt a classic but much improvement on the last home league game with Charlton

I think the shirt pull for our penalty was the cause of that. It was so blatant that he couldn’t not give it but after that every little thing was by the book. Some of our yellow cards were soft.

Only thing poorer than the ref was Boro. They had a lot of the ball especially in the second half but couldn’t do anything with it. A little like us in truth.

The shoots are there (without the shots) going forward. I counted one shot on target all game but Sky have two so they must count the penalty.

Subs: I can’t understand why Mowbray didn’t shift Gallagher forward and play Armstrong our wide when he made the change. Maybe pace on the break but it’s a waste of Gallagher’s talent being out there. Mind you, if we win every game 1-0 I won’t care!

Rothwell on for Downing was a good move. Boro were caused a lot of problems.

Dack looked very unhappy to come off but again, Buckley looked good with a more attacking midfield brief with the comfort of Travis and Johnson behind him.

I was convinced we were going to end up with 10 men with that referee!

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Just now, Tom said:

Not to dwell on a negative but Walton was lucky today for that one he came and missed 

Heart stopping!

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Risky taking Dack and Graham off as we spent the last 15 minutes defending. It worked and maybe this was to save energy for Tuesday v Hull. Listening to Mowbray sounds like we'll go with same team and bring in Tosin v Cardiff. Hope Gally not suffering from hamstring. 

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Walton hasn't had the dream start but hopefully with a settled back line, he too will settle. Raya never got better at claiming those balls after a few seasons

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How do people feel about the Downing signing now?

One of our best players this season for me, that would have been a peach of a goal he curled a few inches wide today.

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