Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Big Match

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Big Match

Article excerpt

Boro v Sheffield United at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow, 1.15pm

KNOW THE FORM KNOW THE FORM BORO got their season into gear thanks to two unbeaten games on the road last week.

They went to Chesterfield with a much changed line-up for the Carling Cup first round tie and earned a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Scott McDonald and Julio Arca.

Then Boro worked hard as a team to take a share of the spoils in their Championship clash at Leicester City.

It was only the second goalless draw since Gordon Strachan took over the reins.

It leaves Boro still awaiting their first Championship win of the campaign, like Sheffield United, though the away trips will have boosted confidence and they are now chasing a third consecutive game without defeat.

THE THINGS WE SAY THE THINGS WE SAY GORDON Strachan is looking forward to locking horns as a manager with the Blades new boss Gary Speed, the two men having been team-mates at Leeds United.

Strachan said: "I have known Gary since he was a boy. "As a kid he did everything within his power to be a good footballer.

"He might not have been as technically skilful as some others, but he worked hard to make himself a great player.

"I am sure he'll take the same qualities into management.

"Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, and it will take Gary a little time to find out everything he needs to know about management, but I've no doubts that he will make a success of it."

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT PLAYER SPOTLIGHT MATTHEW Kilgallon joins the Boro squad for the first time tomorrow - and could line up against his former club.

The Sunderland and former Sheffield United defender has joined Boro on loan until the end of the season.

He will provide valuable cover at centre-back, where David Wheater and Stephen Mcmanus are the only two players with extensive experience.

In addition Kilgallon can operate comfortably at left-back, which is a position which has given Gordon Strachan one or two headaches.

Kilgallon has now recovered from the back problem which has interfered with his pre-season training, and is fit enough to go straight into Championship action.

NEIL Warnock returned to haunt his former charges Sheffield United last weekend by leading QPR to a crushing 3-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

The defeat brought about the sacking of manager Kevin Blackwell and his immediate replacement by Gary Speed.

Rangers had failed to beat United in their last eight encounters in all competitions, but had an irrefutable advantage within the opening 23 minutes.

Hogan Ephraim opened the scoring in the 11th minute before then turning provider for Jamie Mackie to head home.

The result was out of doubt when keeper Steve Simonsen hauled down Adel Taarabt, who then stepped up to score the resulting penalty. …

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