Canaries Crushed As Boro Seize The Summit

STEEL. Determination. Focus. Work-rate. Belief. Bottle.  Spirit. Industry. Organisation. Bravery. Muscle. A little bit of cynicism and strategic time-wasting.  Boro showed real character as they stood firm in a hostile and sometimes hysterical atmosphere to weather a second half storm and and seized the summit . It was brilliant.

There has been a bitter backlash from sour-graped Norwich fans  but make no mistake, Boro thoroughly deserved their famous and potential decisive victory over one the Championship’s form sides. They have badly dented a rival and have thrown themselves right back into the battle for an automatic promotion spot and have piled the pressure on Bournemouth and Watford. And it was brilliant.

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Battling Boro Put The Bite On Wounded Wolves

FANTASTIC.  Finesse. Flair. Fight. Fans.  And plenty of other ‘F’ words. Especially in a nerve shredding spell in the second half when Wolves threatened to gate-crash the party with a goal on the break and a shot that hit the bar leaving loyalists needing defibrilators.

I  would say Boro “held on”  but I’m not sure that’s true. On balance – our own jitters aside – it was probably a more comfortable win than our racing pulses and valium consumption suggested. Boro could have been out of sight before the break as Albert Adomah whacked against the woodwork after a beguiling weaving run and Patrick Bamford also hit the bar at the death with a neat lob.   Boro were the better team  where and when it mattered through. Even Wolves boss Kenny Jackett admitted as much.

Sprint starters Boro raced into an early lead then grabbed the game by the throat and, with the crowd right behind them from the of,f showed  a hunger and spirit that suggested they are still very much in the battle for a top two spot. It was a brilliant team display reminiscent of the December dismantling of Derby.

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Boro Stung – But Can Still Buzz To Summit Success

RIGHT…. it looks like Boro are going to have to do this the hard way. So what’s new.

Boro were left badly bruised at Vicarage Road – again – as arch-Nemesis Troy Deeney struck an opener out of the blue just as Aitor Karanka’s side appeared to be getting a grip on the game then a second half sizzler killed off any hopes of a revival.

It was a deeply disappointing day as Boro once again surrendered the initiative and squandered a chance to seize control of a crazy Championship title race by wilting away from home.  But it is not terminal. Boro haven’t been knocked out of the league.

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Good Friday? Bloody Fantastic Friday!

GOOD Friday? Bloody Fantastic Friday. Boro won. Former leaders Bournemouth drew 1-1 at Ipswich. And Watford – who kicked off in second – dropped points in a draw at Derby. Boro go to Watford in top spot on Monday. The Hornets had Marco Motti sent off,  Matej Vydra limped off injured at half-time and they ended up chasing the game furiously at the death as they clawed back to draw 2-2.  The first words of the post match player interviews were: “We’re all shattered.” Good.

That adds up to a good day’s work.  Results elsewhere fell right while Boro did exactly what they had to do. Win. Although it was far from pretty. In fact the game was so scrappy that had you left it on your drive it would have been whipped away on a flat bed truck and weighed in for a fortune within minutes.  It was disjointed, laboured and littered with wayward passes and woeful touches.

But do we care? Do we buggery. The time for aesthetics has long gone.

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Back With A Bang After UEFA Coitus Interruptus

WELL thank God that long dark empty purgatory is over.
We’ve just endured a cold dark soulless spell of glazed over inactivity. Laptop screens remain defiantly unrefreshed. Tumbleweed has rolled lazily through the twittersphere.
Even the ‘Sky Sports Sources understand…”  tedious tape loop yellow ticker tape of tittle-tattle was yawning with luke-warm indifference as it tried to create a froth of substance over the results of meaningless games in far-flung countries between teams you know little of and care even less. It was like the cricket season.

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ZDS 25: You Never Forget Your First Time

INCREDIBLY it was 25 years ago today that 34,000 emotional Teessiders made the long-awaited first ever pilgrimage to Wembley. And it was fantastic.

Boro were second Division relegation strugglers with the boss booted out just a fortnight before, and we were about to take the football world by storm.

March 25, 1990 was the delirious day a collective schoolboy dream came true.

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Cherry Bombed: Bum Note Boro Implode

I WAS going to write tonight but I’m knackered, I’ve got a cold and I’ve just spent six hours in a car, much of it listening to overgrown infant Matt Dawson screeching like a buffoon about egg-chasing in full Question of Sport “banter”  mode. Then I got home and opened twitter to find a swathe of kneejerk comments from combustible fans who clearly believe that you are only as good as your last game and the world is ending.

It seems  that the previous games in the Week of Destiny, the points tally and the position going into the last seven games count for nothing and that the spirited sweat soaked team who were heroes of Tuesday are now suddenly a feckless, spineless bunch of talentless wasters who chose deliberately to lose because they “didn’t fancy it.”

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A Pivotal Point In The Promotion Push

THE WIN over Derby felt like a pivotal point in the promotion battle. It felt like a seismic shift in the balance of forces. It felt like the landscape has been reshaped in the in the psychology and the maths and the momentum at the top. It felt fantastic.

This “Week of Destiny” has been looming large for months and lets be honest here, some people have been wetting themselves over it. If you are that way inclined and spend most of your time viewing events through a jaundiced flaw-magnifying telescope of scorn predicting that the next match is a looming disaster then you would have seen this Titanic trio of tussles as the point where the wheels would come off, where the inherent obvious weaknesses in the team were exposed and “typical Boro” collapsed.

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Back On Tractor The Top

BORO blasted clear of the four way share of the summit with an emphatic 4-1 win over Ipswich – briefly – then were reeled back in again during the afternoon games to squeeze onto the summit alongside Bournemouth and Watford as the crazy, cut-throat division continued to confound and constrict . It is going to be like that all the way in from here now.  Just staying focussed and banking points by hook or by crook will be key.

It was a good day’s work. A win was vital to start the “Week of Destiny” with some serious momentum. Three points in the bank going to stuttering Derby is useful. And it was important too that Boro took the opportunity that the early kick-off presented them.

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