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Boro v Coventry
 

Boro v Coventry

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Team News...

Coburn starts with RvdB probably at right-back and Engel in at left-back - other than Bangura the bench is very young!

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Three changes in the starting XI, including starts for Big Josh, Matt Clarke & Lukas Engel - CJ:

It's three changes for Boro thena as Clarke, Engel and Coburn start and Dijksteel, Bangura and Silvera drop out. Bangura on the bench, Dijksteel out because of the injury picked up at Huddersfield while Silvera and McGree are away with Australia.

No new returnees from injury which means it's a very inexperienced Boro bench. The only senior players there are Jamie Jones, Alex Bangura and Hayden Coulson.

Matt Clarke back in at centre-back due to Dijksteel's injury with Van den Berg switching to right-back. Might be just a coincidence, might be something in the tactical plan, but a pattern I've noticed of late is that Bangura seems to start away games and Engel at home.

Nearly forgot:  a happy New Year to one & all!

This post was modified 5 months ago by Stircrazy

   
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Thanks for the match preview Andy - excellent as usual and this will indeed be a tough game for heavily depleted and tired Boro team. Not sure I agree with allowing the early departure of Aussie players given that it's during mid-season as them missing 9 games is quite an imposition on clubs - surely there needs to be a standard close season for international tournaments - after all, if they can move the World Cup to December then the other tournaments can also be moved. Thankfully, Glover didn't get selected as he's looked quite good in the games he has played.

Could be anything today but I'm hoping the return of Coburn gives Boro more shape and he holds the ball for others - bit worried about Jones and Greenwood's form and also just hoping we don't get anymore injuries - especially Howson who has played a lot of minutes lately.


   
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@lenmasterman 

That was a great clip Len it must have taken hours to hone that throwing accuracy 😉 

btw All the gubbins from the question-mark onwards in the Twitter/X link don't really alter the destination so I was able to delete a few lines of that hyperlink.


   
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@jarkko 

Glad you're enjoying the normal weather in Finland - it's been so mild over here (around 14 degrees) that even the mosquitoes reappeared with one sneakily biting my left hand the other evening while I was relaxing on the sofa and then had an allergic reaction that made my hand swell up for a few days - I knew I shouldn't have come out from behind the sofa after the Huddersfield game...


   
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Beeb preview:

Two sides with play-off ambitions meet today at the Riverside Stadium.

Michael Carrick's Boro [cue a rolling of the eyes!] have enjoyed a memorable couple of weeks, reaching the semi-final of the EFL Cup and winning three of their four league matches to move within sight of the top six.  One blip was a 1-0 defeat at bottom side Rotherham on Boxing Day.

Last season's play-off finalists Coventry have also had a profitable Christmas period and have lost only one of their past 10 games.

Victory for the Sky Blues would lift them above Middlesbrough in the table.


   
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Martin Bellamy
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Just back from a bracing walk on the beach near Bridlington, having spotted earlier that MFC Live match passes aren’t available to allow me to watch today. 

I’d like to echo everyone’s praise for another brilliant opener and to wish you all a brilliant 2024. 

 


   
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Get in 1-0 Coburn header from Jones cross.  Thoroughly deserved lead. Cob 😎


   
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Posted by: @k-p-in-spain

Get in 1-0 Coburn header from Jones cross.  Thoroughly deserved lead. Cob 😎

And the Sky Blues equalise four minutes later!

 


   
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Bu….1-1 Coventry score from a corner! We lead for less than 5 mins.  Need to keep playing as we have been. 😎


   
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jarkko
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One of the best matches to watch. Lovely football by both teams. We should be leading by 2-0, but a good game of football. 

We have played well. Hope we continue to press Coventry as much as in the first half. 

But enjoyed the first half. Up the Boro!


   
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A really good game so far. So different from the Huddersfield match - if that was two poor sides slugging it out this has been two quality sides trading blows.

Coventry started very well but we gutsed it out and suddenly burst to life with 20-25 mins of strong pressure on the visitors goal, culminating in an excellently taken goal by Josh Coburn.

Unfortunately it didn’t last very long as Coventry put in a superb corner which Glover did very well to save. Sadly the frantic clearing header was directed towards the penalty spot rather than wide of goal and Sakamoto gobbled it up for 1-1.

It’s been quite even since in a very entertaining half.

This post was modified 5 months ago 2 times by Andy R

   
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After a cagey opening 15 minutes as both sides were content to keep possession it's been a really good game of football with Boro looking dangerous on the break. Good opening goal by Coburn that showed the advantage of having a centre-forward on the pitch but it was a sloppy goal to concede 5 minutes later. Boro unlucky to only have scored one with Jones and Rogers looking sharp and Howson and Barlaser playing well in midfield.

Hopefully another Boro goal will be enough but still plenty of hard work left in this game.


   
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Good first half with lots of endeavour and some excellent football.  Unlucky not to have scored more and shame to have conceded so quickly after taking the lead.  More goals to come I suspect. 😎


   
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CJ's verdict on the first half:

Boro unlucky not to lead at the break. They've had much the better of that first half and should have been well-placed when getting their opener. Just fell to sleep from a set-piece which proved costly. Good recovery since though. They go in after a couple of great chances to restore the lead.

Adding:

Coburn has made a big difference up top with his presence. Not just his goal, which was a great finish. Even when not directly involved, his movement, his presence is causing Coventry defenders to worry about him a bit more, which creates the space behind him for the three forwards who have all been lively.


   
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Bugger!  Coventry takes the lead in the 58th minute - CJ:

Boro behind. Anger from Boro who feel Engel was fouled in the build-up. Looked soft. Coventry break. Simms effort from the cross is saved by Glover but the ST reacts quicker than Fry to the rebound to poke it into the path of Wright to tap home from close range.


   
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Bugger. 2-1 down and nothing on the bench….


   
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Coventry adds a third goal in the 69th minute!


   
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1-3. Game over as Boro’s lack of options costs us.


   
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1-3 Thank you and good night.  Looking very ragged this half and Coventry in control.  😎


   
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After reporting that there would be five minutes of injury time, CJ commented as follows:

Coventry have took [ouch!] the sting out of this one, with little Boro have been able to do since the third goal to change the inevitable. A day Boro will rue not making first-half dominance count, or at the very least protecting the hard-earned lead better. A heavily depleted squad has looked very jaded all second half, while Coventry were a much better side from the restart.


   
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Well a disappointing result given such a promising start but there again not surprising give Coventry’s current form and they appear to be our current bogie team.

Still in touch of sixth place at four points behind but I prefer to see it in terms of the number of games we have to win to out perform the teams ahead and around us which becomes more and more difficult as the season progresses.  

If I was MC I would be resting some of these players next Saturday and give a few of the kids a chance.

Unfortunately not the start to the NewYear we wanted. ☹️😎


   
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Boro just ran out of ideas and energy in the second half and Carrick opted not to gamble with his youngsters - Boro not really in the second half and it looked a comfortable win for Coventry. We need some more players as not Sure how Boro will cope playing Villa and Chelsea three days apart!


   
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Thought we edged first half their keeper made a couple of good saves. 2nd half car crash? Team running on fumes and not good enough


   
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jarkko
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We ran out of steam. And there was only Bangura for Engel and Gilbert for Greenwood on the bench. Not much we could change. 

After a good first 45 min, we deserved to get beaten. Who can we field against Aston Villa?

Up the Boro!


   
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Northen Echo Ratings

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1):

5 Glover: Should have done better with the Simms shot that was parried in the build-up to Coventry’s second goal

4 Van den Berg: Struggled against Wright defensively, and wasn’t able to get forward to offer anything down the flank

5 Fry: Won most of his aerial challenges against Simms, but became increasingly ragged as the game wore on

5 Clarke: Made a couple of important blocks inside his own 18-yard box, but was pulled out of position on a couple of occasions

4 Engel: Couldn’t keep Sakamoto quiet and was unable to offer anything positive when he ventured forward down the flank

4 Howson: A disappointing day for the skipper, who never really got hold of things at the heart of midfield

5 Barlaser: Kept the ball moving fairly effectively, but found himself having to play very deep in the second half

 

5 I Jones: Played well in the first half, crossing for Coburn’s opener, but his effectiveness waned after the break

7 ROGERS: The pick of Boro’s players by a distance, driving forward through the heart of midfield and taking players on

4 Greenwood: Came close with a first-half shot that was tipped over, but faded badly in the second half

5 Coburn: Scored with a well-taken header, but was running on empty in the final quarter of the game

Subs:

Bangura (for Engel, 74)

Gilbert (for Greenwood, 81)

Kavanagh (for van den Berg, 85)

(not used): J Jones (gk), Coulson, Bilongo, Bridge, McCabe, Nkrumah.

COVENTRY (4-2-3-1):

Collins 7; van Ewijk 6, Thomas 7, Binks 6, Bidwell 7; Eccles 6 (Latibeaudiere 70), Sheaf 6; SAKAMOTO 8, O’Hare 7 (Dasilva 88), Wright 8 (Palmer 81); Simms 7 (Godden 70).

Subs (not used): Wilson (gk), McFadzean, Allen, Ayari, Tavares

Man Of The Match: TATSUHIRO SAKAMOTO – Scored twice, and came within inches of claiming a hat-trick when he hit the post late on.


   
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The boys are literally going to be lambs to the slaughter against Villa (live on BBC1 from 17.25 on Saturday) & Chelsea... 


   
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Posted by: @stircrazy

The boys are literally going to be lambs to the slaughter against Villa (live on BBC1 from 17.25 on Saturday) & Chelsea... 

...Not too bothered about the FA cup but I loathe Chelsea and would love to beat them.

 


   
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@malcolm 

I don't think anyone deserved a 4 after what was a good first half - the problem was Coventry upped their game and pressed better and kept the ball well and Boro just struggled to get near them as they tired and couldn't play out from the back. Jones was double-marked and Barlaser played too many risky passes in his own third. I thought Howson won the ball back quite often but got crowded out in possession. Coventry were just stronger and imposed themselves in the second half and Carrick appeared to not fancy anyone on his bench to improve matters. We know RvdB has limitations at right-back but he did show a lot of energy in the second half - Greenwood other than one decent shot looked off it today and looked frustrated. Rogers showed he's got something extra and having Coburn allowed Boro to have a target but he wasn't really supported in the second half and couldn't get in the box.

Looks like being a tough January as any injured player that may return will not be up to speed for a few weeks as most have been out for quite a while now - the same applies to any potential new signings.


Philip of Huddersfield
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Seemed like a game too far as the cumulative effect of all the injuries over a long period meant that the remaining players have become exhausted.  Unfortunately,  there’s no signs that injured players are likely to come back soon and, as been pointed out, they will need to be gradually reintroduced to the team.

I just hope that Chelsea and Villa are fully aware of Boro’s injuries and put out weakened teams and , in particular, Boro are still ” in the tie” when they play the second leg of the semi final.

The next few weeks will be more of the same with lots of matches so I hope no more injuries occur and MC can  ensure that the team are still within striking distance of 6th place in the League by the time players return.

Philip of Huddersfield 


   
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