Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's Been a Super Start and the Boys Can Keep It Going; Bernie's Bolt With

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's Been a Super Start and the Boys Can Keep It Going; Bernie's Bolt With

Article excerpt

Byline: Bernie Slaven

IT'S been a great start to the season.

You can't ask for much more than five goals and two clean sheets.

And I don't see any reason why Boro can't keep up their momentum at Leeds on Saturday.

Leeds are in turmoil. Dave Hockaday's appointment was a surprise one to say the least.

He lost his first league game at Millwall and although they rebounded to beat Accrington Stanley in the League Cup, Accrington gave them a really good go by all accounts.

Leeds is always a hostile place to go. My first game for the Boro was there and it was a real eye opener.

But the flip side of that is that if Boro get an early goal, the home crowd will get on their side's backs.

Aitor Karanka's first game in charge of the Boro was also at Elland Road last November and my, how things have changed since then.

He took over a side in 19th place but took us up the league on the back of being hard to break down.

Now we are looking the part going forward as well after making some smart-looking signings.

I had a good talk with Karanka for the best part of an hour at a recent Golf Evening at Rockliffe Hall and he came across as an impressive individual.

Obviously it was a private conversation so I won't go into the ins and outs of it, but it's easy to see why he is having a positive effect on the Boro.

He is honest, straight talking and a disciplinarian, and very thorough.

I've been impressed with his dealings in the transfer market over the summer, especially Kike.

He has got two goals in two games. I like his movement. He holds the ball up well and has got an eye for goal.

And another thing I like about him is that he isn't afraid to have a go at his teammates.

I don't mean criticising them, but asking them to play the ball earlier or whatever.

Boro have had far too many angels and choirboys in the team over the last couple of years and not enough leaders.

I played with the likes of Gary Hamilton, who would have a pop at you regularly. …

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