Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro's Deja Vu; Repeat of Last Season with Trip to Bristol FA CUP

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro's Deja Vu; Repeat of Last Season with Trip to Bristol FA CUP

Article excerpt

BORO are heading back to Ashton Gate next month.

Gareth Southgate's men have been paired with Bristol City in the third round of the FA Cup.

The tie will probably take place on Saturday, January 5, subject to any TV demands.

It's a repeat of the fourth round meeting in last year's FA Cup, when Boro travelled to the West County to take on the Robins.

On that occasion Boro drew 2-2 at Ashton Gate, and the two sides played out the same scoreline over 120 minutes in the replay at the Riverside.

Boro eventually scraped through 5-4 on penalties, thanks to a sudden death winner from Adam Johnson.

Boro boss Gareth Southgate said: "We enjoyed our games against Bristol City last season so we'll look forward to meeting them again.

"They were in League One at that time and have since been promoted to the Championship, where they are going quite well.

"We'll anticipate another hard game, but in the meantime we have important Premier League games to play and we'll be concentrating on them."

City are currently in a play-off position in the Championship, having won 2-1 at leaders Watford on Saturday - which suggests they will provide an even stiffer test than last year.

City boss Gary Johnson has admitted a feeling of deja vu following the pairing.

He said: "You either want to draw a big club or a little one, and we've got a Premiership club at Ashton Gate.

"We'll be the underdogs even though Middlesbrough aren't flying at the moment, but this will be an opportunity to see how far we've come since last season.

"It's a case of deja vu for both teams. They've changed their personnel since last year quite a bit, us not so much. But if we have aspirations to progress then this is the kind of test we need."

Boro led 2-0 at one stage in the first meeting last season, but were pegged back and conceded the equaliser when Scott Murray hammered home an incredible goal from outside the area.

Johnson added: "I'm sure Scott Murray's wonder goal will be dragged out of the archives when the tie comes around. There's a little time before that tie though, and plenty of Championship games to play. …

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