Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It Took Too Long for Boro to Get Going but There Are Plenty of Positives; What Did the Opening Day Defeat at Wolves Tell Us about Garry Monk's Middlesbrough? Dominic Shaw Reflects on the 1-0 Loss at Molineux

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It Took Too Long for Boro to Get Going but There Are Plenty of Positives; What Did the Opening Day Defeat at Wolves Tell Us about Garry Monk's Middlesbrough? Dominic Shaw Reflects on the 1-0 Loss at Molineux

Article excerpt

GOOD old Neil Warnock.

Of the 11 games to be played so far in the opening weekend of the Championship season, the second tier master is the only boss who has seen his team win away from home.

Last season's play-off finalists Reading were beaten on the road; so too Sheffield Wednesday. And Harry's Birmingham. And promotion favourites Boro.

There goes the Championship doing its thing again!

Kind of a "Welcome back, Boro". As if we could forget what this unforgiving - how many times will you hear that word used this season - league is capable of.

A lot will change over the course of this campaign - including the way this Boro team play as they mould and gel and find a way to get the very best out of each other.

Perhaps after the promising signs in the home friendly against Augsburg last week, we were almost lulled into a sense of expectation that everything would just click this season. That's very rarely the case.

Of the 11 players who started at Molineux, only three were in the from the off on the final day of last season at Anfield, with six of the seven signings Boro have made this summer getting the nod from the off.

But Wolves too were introducing their fans to some new faces. Seven in fact.

So with 13 debutants in total, it came as no surprise to see the opening stages of this opening fixture played out in a cagey manner. There was nothing in it until Daniel Ayala made a blunder at the back allowing Leo Bonatini - a new signing, obviously - to slot home the opener.

While there was little to separate the sides in that first half, it was Wolves who looked more at home in a new-look formation. Playing an Antonio Conte-esque 3-4-3, the hosts offered real width and were sharper out of the blocks.

They snapped at Boro's heels, smothered them and didn't let the visitors settle.

Boro's kind of 4-1-2-3 set-up really looked the part against Augsburg last weekend but here Monk's side weren't quite as smooth. The front three players darted about and swapped and changed positions once more but the home side's back three - marshalled by Willy Boly - who was playing Champions League last season - coped. …

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