A FEW months back we’d have lost that. The squandered chances would have set the jitters off, Bristol’s bright start to the second half would have fostered and the red card would have led to the slow motion retreat and fear creeping in. We would have finished the game scrambling balls away from the box in blind panic and no doubt crumbled an conceded from a dead-ball in stoppage time.
JONNO struck two sweet goals and set up another in front of scouts from Spurs and no doubt the rest of the Premiership posse too. That will grab the headlines in the nationals, (although when quizzed GS2 brushed the questions aside) but the real story here is another few pieces of the Strachan jigsaw fell into place.
BORO needed the luck of the Irish to claw back a precious point as Willo the wisp’s jammy cross from the right somehow curled and dipped and sneaked in at the far post with the keeper furiously back-pedalling. We’ll take it. After all, it wasn’t a game for the purists.
GORDON Strachan has a little list of players who “want to come to Boro”. Well, he’d better get a move on with getting some of them in quickly because we are running out of time and bodies if we are serious about making the play-offs.
Boro are heading into what could be a watershed run of six “winnable” fixtures that they must cash in to have any hope – and they have an injury ravaged squad that is thinner than ever after a fruitless and frustrating transfer window so far.
SO, BORO unleashed their three new Celtic Tigers and still there is no bite. A bit more of a roar in the first half maybe but no ruthless predatory instinct. No teeth.
Gordon Strachan blooded all three of his old bhoys at Sheffield United and all offered some promise. Robson had some nice touches and some deft deliveries but was maybe wasted out on the right; Flood showed plenty of industry, a bit of a snarl and a willingness to put a foot in; and Killen worked hard and won plenty of aerial flick-ons.
But while adding bodies and options in midfield is a tentative step forward it will take a radical revamp at the back and a lot of added punch up front to transform this squad into an effective unit that can flourish in the Championship.
SIGNINGS imminent: let the pre-emptive bitching begin….
In times past fresh faces arriving on Teesside would be met with curdled mutterings over a pint of Olde Pessimist in the Chickenrunners Arms.
New recruits would be systematically dismantled with cruel relish. If teh club managed to sign them without dropping a clanger. Too young, too old, too slow, two left feet, can’t pass, can’t control, can’t tackle, won’t score, never fit, no brain, no heart, no pedigree, no quality, no future. Fat. Lightweight. Drunkard. Idiot. Complete useless waste of time and money. Wouldn’t get a game with the Blind School. They’ll fit in well with the rest of this shower. Welcome to Teesside.
BORO will probably get the Celtic lads. The personal kudos of Strachan with players he bought for the Bhoys and led to domestic and European glory will ensure that while they can easily meet the financial demands of fee and wages. But Kris Boyd? I think not.
STRACHAN had predicted it would be water-pistols against machine guns. If fact it was a much more even fire-fight but he was still right – Boro were firing blanks when it mattered in front of goal while City’s big guns hit the target.