Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Big Match

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Big Match

Article excerpt

KNOW THE FORM KNOW THE FORM BORO have taken just one point from their last nine as their promotion push reaches a difficult period.

Consecutive home defeats at the hands of West Brom and Leicester have left the Riverside faithful utterly frustrated.

Boro have been more successful on the road, where they have won three games. It should have been four victories, but they were denied the three points by a last gasp Coventry equaliser at the Ricoh Arena last weekend.

Maybe Boro have been effective away from home because the pace of Jeremie Aliadiere and Marvin Emnes stretches opposing defenders.

But Boro have now shipped eight goals in three games, which is a cause for concern.

THE THINGS WE SAY THE THINGS WE SAY GARETH Southgate said: "We've scored in every away game -in fact we are averaging two goals a game.

"We've also won three games on the road and it could easily have been four.

"So we have to put Tuesday's disappointment behind us and go to Reading and play without any fears, and just concentrate on doing the things we always do.

"We've looked at the goals we have conceded lately and hopefully we have been able to take measures to stop it from happening again.

"We know that, with the pace we have got, we are capable of creating chances away from home and when we do, we have to make sure we hit the target."

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT PLAYER SPOTLIGHT DIDIER Digard is gradually nearing full fitness again, which will intensity the battle for midfield places.

The pounds 4m Frenchman will hope to earn a starting place after the international break.

Boro have already accommodated Gary O'Neil in a role on the right, following his hernia op, though he was later moved inside against Leicester.

Julio Arca was pushed out to the left at the same time with Adam Johnson switching to the right.

Mark Yeates eventually came on to replace Arca, but stayed on the left, with Johnson remaining on the right. It suggests the midfield players can expect a fair bit of chopping and changing before the best formation is identified.

KNOW THE FORM KNOW THE FORM READING are without a home league win in 14 games. …

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