Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Win Takes the Pressure off McClaren

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Win Takes the Pressure off McClaren

Article excerpt

Byline: By Adam Steel

Battling Boro got their first win in six attempts this season courtesy of Sunday's 1-0 defeat of Everton at the Riverside.

ADAM STEEL spoke to the Gazette Punters' Panel to get their thoughts on the overdue triumph, Juninho's absence from the starting 11 and where the team can go from here.

JOHN BROOKES (pictured), from Stockton, reckons the three points were very important, particularly to Steve McClaren.

"I think Job's goal saved a job," said John.

"I may be totally wrong but it's my point of view, I think the win was that critical.

"If we'd been beaten the manager would have been under even more pressure and a lot of people would have been on his back.

"I'm not getting carried way because we've won, there is still a long way to go.

"We were heading for an uncomfortable fall but we've got our fingers on the ridge now.

"We just need to straighten our elbows up and get our knees back on.

"There were some battling performances out there, Mills scrapped away, Franck did well to come back in for 90 minutes and George Boateng ran himself into the ground.

"I would have brought Nemeth on sooner rather than Ricketts to make the most of his mobility and bringing Riggott on said we were out to hang on to the 1-0.

"I agreed with Juninho's absence because he hasn't been himself so far and I think he would've been quite ineffective against Everton.

"Hopefully it can buck him up a bit and we can kick on against Brighton tomorrow night.

"Because Southampton away is going to be a humdinger on Saturday."

CHRIS BLOWES (pictured right), from Fleet in Hampshire, believes Boro did well to grind out the crucial triumph and feels Juninho's omission was justified.

"Overall it was a gritty performance which brought us those much needed three points," he said.

"Steve McClaren must be a very relieved man, especially with the fate of Glenn Hoddle.

"However it was very much a Jekyll and Hyde performance.

"There was some superb football in the first half, and a 'backs to the wall' scenario in the second half.

"Looking back over the past two seasons, Franck Queudrue has had poor games when returning from suspension, but he was magnificent on Sunday. …

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