Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

OUR GIANT STRIDES; Mogga Hails Year of Progress as Boro Go into the Big Run-In We've Taken Giant Strides

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

OUR GIANT STRIDES; Mogga Hails Year of Progress as Boro Go into the Big Run-In We've Taken Giant Strides

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE

TOP six with 10 games to go is "the best we could have hoped for", insists Tony Mowbray.

Boro take on big spending West Ham at the Boleyn Ground tonight (ko 7.45) looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Leeds and Birmingham.

Despite those setbacks, Mowbray's men occupy sixth place in the Championship table which, come the end of the season, would win the club a place in the play-offs showdown.

The manager believes, taking into account the number of players who have left over the past year or so, that's a notable achievement.

He said: "As a coach, as a manager, you look for reasons why you have a few results that haven't gone your way.

"But the reasons are there in front of my eyes, we are digging into the squad at the moment.

We are missing some key players who have impacted on our team all season.

"McDonald, Williams, Haroun, Robson - they have been big, big players for us all year and have enabled us to be in the top six all season. "Not only in terms of talent but they are big personalities that give your team drive. We look forward to them returning, but in the meantime we push on. "It (Boro's position) needs putting into perspective," Mowbray added. "We're in the top six with 10 games to go and from where we were last year it's probably the best we could have hoped for, I think. "So we shouldn't be seeing it as a negative. There are 10 games to go and we look forward to them. "There are a lot of teams striving for those top six positions and we have to be in the mix. "It's a great testament to our players that we are in that group striving to finish in the top six. "If you propel back a year, we were striving to get out of the bottom three and away from the bottom three, looking for a couple of wins to push us towards mid-table. …

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