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Exeter v Boro
 

Exeter v Boro

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Exeter City v Boro

Tuesday 31/10/23 K.O. 19:45

St James Park

 

So the Boro fans will happily strap themselves into their cars, others carefully load their crates of lager and beer into the waiting coaches, whilst chanting Boro songs and some will even try and attempt hitchhiking the long way south. Meanwhile as this is going on, the Boro players take a leisurely walk out onto the runway at Teesside International Airport and  climb the steps into their chartered airplane, with their iPods in their ears as they all prepare to travel the 334.5 miles (I checked!). All this activity in Teeside is geared up for Boro to play in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as one of the last 16 clubs in the competition. Boro are to face Exeter City and not only is it the next round, if we win this game, we are then in the quarter finals! Can we dare to dream as one of the last eight clubs left in the competition. Have we been let down before? Oh yes !! This is one of those games that we all want the Boro to win, as we have been so disappointed before in these must win games.

 

The 2023–24 EFL Cup is the 64th season of the EFL CUP known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons). The competition is open to all clubs participating in the Premier League and the English FootballLeague.

The winner of the competition will qualify for the play-off round of the 2024-2025 UEFFA Conference League.

Manchester United are the defending champions, having beaten Newcastle United 2-0 in the previous seasons final.

 

A total of 16 teams will play in the fourth round.

 

31 October 2023

Mansfield Town

v

Port Vale

 

31 October 2023

Exeter City

v

Middlesbrough

 

1 November 2023

West Ham United

v

Arsenal

 

1 November 2023

Everton

v

Burnley

 

1 November 2023

Chelsea

v

Blackburn Rovers

 

1 November 2023

Ipswich Town

v

Fulham

 

1 November 2023

Bournemouth

v

Liverpool

 

1 November 2023

Manchester United

v

Newcastle United

 

Earlier on the same day that we play, Boro fans will also have had the chance to have their picture taken with the trophy itself - including those making the long journey to St James Park on Boro official Travel Club coaches.

The MFC Official retail store is also going be open from the earlier time of 9am with the trophy in situ, and are also going to be joined by our former defender Danny Mills - who was, of course, one of the fabled squad that claimed Boro's first-ever trophy success in the League Cup nearly 20 years ago.

 

The Travel Club coaches will depart promptly at 10.45am, and the trophy will remain at the store until approximately 1pm. Boro Women players Fran Ward and Rose McCarthy will also call at the ground from around 12 noon for a meet and greet with supporters. 

 

One thing to think about the game on Tuesday is that with no extra time until the semifinal stage, Carabao Cup games that are drawn after 90 minutes now go directly to a penalty shootout. So,it could be that the Exeter strategic game plan is to pack their defence and go for a goalless draw and chance their luck with a penalty shootout.

 

Boro currently have six players out injured as I write this, at least four of whom are going to be long-term absentees. Whilst it is currently uncertain exactly how much longer Darragh Lenihan and Riley McGree will be out for, Carrick confirmed last Thursday that Marcus Forsse will be absent from playing any games for several weeks which means the whole squad will be utilised fully.

 

I do therefore expect changes in the Boro team for this game, starting with the goalkeeper. Carrick likes to utilise his squad and rotate his players and Glover will probably be the man between the sticks rather than Dieng. It means that all the total squad feel motivated and more involved and also keeps them fresh and match fit. It,is my considered opinion that Dieng is the best goalkeeper that Boro have had since we sold Darren Randolph back to West Ham for £4:5 million in January 2020. Of course Randolph who is now 35 has an estimated net worth of around £10.6 million according to Salary Sport and the Irish footballer welcomed his first child into the world with pop singer Alexandra Burke, so life doesn’t revolve around the Boro for these guys does it? Tom Glover our Australian goalkeeper should prove to be an able deputy in goal for Dieng and at a height of 6’3” he should command his box pretty well.

 

Boro could also use this game to reintroduce Matthew Clarke back into central defence and whilst not particularly tall for a centre back at 6’1” he is still only 27 years old, but does have a lot of experience with his previous clubs, Portsmouth, Derby and WBA. If he played against Exeter, it would ease the strain on the current first team squad of playing three games a week and give him some much needed game time to get match fit for the intensive league fixture games ahead.

 

Dijksteel is another player who could be introduced into the team for the game on Tuesday. He has a wealth of championship experience and is still only 26, possessing pace and skill which can be used down the right hand side to good effect. It could be a promising partnership if he links up with Crooks and Jones forming the passing triangles which now forms part of the Boro playing style. I don’t expect Van Den Berg to play in this game as he is the type of player who is not used to three intense physical games of football within a week.

 

Will we also see the introduction of Hayden Coulson into the team on Tuesday? I don’t anticipate a starting role for Hayden but do anticipate him being on the bench. He is a player who, like Lewis Wing, initially showed so much potential but seems to have drifted in the game . Hayden sometimes looks lacklustre although his performances whilst on loan at Aberdeen were good enough to earn him a new contract at Boro.This could be a chance for him to force his way back into the fold and mind of Carrick for team selection.

 

Our other Hayden, Hackney will probably return to the line up after serving his one game suspension to replace Howson in the team and give his weary old legs a rest !

 

Rogers,Lath and Silvera will probably play up front and possibly big Josh Coburn may also have a rest on the bench waiting to come on for a match winner.

 

Turning to Exeter City the Boro have never played them previously. The club was founded in 1901 and was the first team to play the Brazil national team in 1914. The club has been owned by the Supporters’ Trust since 2003 and has since gone from strength to strength. Exeter City is nationally renowned for its Academy which has produced Premier League and International stars Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu, as well as providing players for the first-team.

 

St James Park has been the Grecians home since 1901. The stadium’s capacity is roughly 8,300. St James Park consists of four stands, with the heart of the support in the Thatchers Big Bank, the largest standing terrace in the Football League.The Nevada Construction Main Stand which is an all-seated standing housing 2,100 supporters, running the length of the pitch, it offers a great view of the action at both ends of the ground. In 2018 the Optimising IT Adam Stansfield Stand opened, which houses 1,600 supporters and remembers Grecian legend Adam Stansfield. Away fans are housed in the covered Tracks Suzuki St James Road Terrace which houses 1,000 supporters. 350 seats are also available in the Nevada Construction Main Stand. All the Boro allocation of tickets have been sold out and whilst there are local Boro supporter who live in the area they didn’t have enough points to secure a ticket for the game.

 

Gary Caldwell the Exeter manager has said that he would look into the free agent market for potential additions following the end of the transfer window. Like the Boro management team,he brought in 10 new faces over the summer but his squad is still small. The ex-Partick Thistle and Chesterfield manager has gone on record as saying, “We still have a desire to improve and have a couple of options of unattached players so we will keep looking, but it is where we are. We are doing extremely well with a small squad and need to get bodies in to support the players. We will look at unattached players but it has to be the right player and we won’t do it for the sake of it. They will have to buy into the mentality and want to improve every single day and we will bring those characters in should they be available.”

 

City's form has not been helped by a string of injuries suffered last month, with attacking players Jack Aitchison, James Scott and Admiral Musk all suffering spells on the sidelines along with a host of others.

But as Exeter's injury problems have started to ease, Caldwell's side have still struggled to find the net- although he feels his side are still creating enough opportunities.

 

"With the injury crisis that we had and then the poor run of form that we've had, that has led to a little bit of a crisis in terms of scoring goals, but when you create 28 shots and have 17 corners, then you're clearly doing something right," Caldwell said.

 

"It's that last little bit which is the hardest bit in football that we need to get right, and once we get one I think it'll be like London buses we'll get two, three and start scoring goals again.”

 

"It's more a psychological issue than an actual ability or performance issue. There's certain things we've looked at, especially from the game the other night where we can be better in terms of passing forward better and being a more aggressive team. But that also links back to confidence, so we're very clear on what we need to do in terms of support and how we need to prepare the players, we're very confident that if they do that they can go out and win a game."

 

Exeter City goalkeeper Vil Sinisalo has praised the constant contact and feedback he has been getting from his parent club. The 21-year-old is on a season long loan with the Grecians from Premier League Aston Villa and has been impressing down in Devon. Last season the Finnish international had gone on loan to Burton Albion in a spell that fell short of expectation, making just eight appearances, conceding 14 in those, and being dropped from the side soon after arriving. But the goalkeeper who has arrived in Devon now looks the part and has impressed for Gary Caldwell’s men so far this season. In his 14 appearances for City, he has kept six clean sheets, and conceded just 14 goals, and been one of the star performers in League One, even if the form of Exeter has tailed off in recent weeks, with four successive league defeats as they have slipped down to 12 th in the table. That hasn’t been the fault of the glovesman though, who has been instrumental ensuring the success of City. On a personal note, he praised the work that his parent club are doing keeping in touch with him to ensure he is developing as a footballer. “I have had loads of contact with Villa, perhaps more than people think,” he said. “We are constantly in conversation, have been in Birmingham a few times, and getting data and video analysis. That club is in a great place at the moment and they are really looking after their players really well and can’t ask for anything more.

“I have loved being here, enjoyed this the most I have ever enjoyed and have loved every minute. The fans have been really welcoming, and given me a platform to develop as a person and a footballer and I will get better and develop every game I play and I couldn’t have wished for a better welcome. We need to put things right though. We don’t want the great start we had to fizzle out. I am desperate to do well for the club, for the team and the fans and I will always give my all as long as I play football. I just want to do well and see if we can have something special.” Hopefully the Boro strikers will be able to keep him busy picking the ball out of the net on Tuesday. What we don’t want is their goalkeeper to produce a man of the match performance including saving penalties to progress into the next round.

 

So what do I think the result will be?

 

Mmm,mm ?

 

Come on OFB don’t be shy.."………… it’s going to be Boro3  the Grecians 0

 

OFB

 


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Thanks for the intro OFB. Hopefully we will get back to winning ways on Tuesday night. Amazing that in all this time we have never been drawn against them. Statistically they are an interesting team. They have only scored 12 league goals this season in 15 games, but are obviously not afraid to shoot as they average 13.8 shots per game but only 3.7 on target. Compared to the Boro who have 14.8 shots per game with 5.4 on target. Up until Saturday's draw they had lost five on the bounce and scored one goal. You would think that we should be able to cope with their attack. As to what our line up will be, I assume Glover in goal. I think that Dijksteel will get a run as will Clarke, and Bangura on the left. Barlaser and Hackney must be in midfield. Not sure who will replace Greenwood who is cup tied. Maybe Gilbert who came on on Saturday? Josh needs a rest so Latte lath up front, hopefully he will improve on his current passing stats which show that he misplaces one in three.

 

 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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 A very informative Headliner OFB. It’s length matches that of the supporters journey. 🤣

I assume MC will use the match to rest some players and give game time to those that have been injured and on the fringe. 

I will not tempt fate with a banana skin result. A win would be very nice thank you. Are there any streams this round?


   
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Thank you for an excellent and informative opener OFB, providing insight on the likely Boro line up, with which I concur.

Your history of the Grecians and their ground was interesting and I was unaware the club is owned by a supporters trust; it was good also to have some details on the opposition strengthens and weaknesses.

Given their form to date we should, even with a patched up team, be good enough to prevail.  That being said, yesterday did nothing to inspire confidence with a performance that was more akin to pre season and early season form!

Fingers crossed “typical Boro” does not turn up on the night.

It looks as if I will have to follow the game via Riverside Live Radio Commentary as the game is not being televised as far as I can ascertain.  

CoB let’s get the show back on the road. 😎


   
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Posted by: @pedro

 A very informative Headliner OFB. It’s length matches that of the supporters journey. 🤣

I assume MC will use the match to rest some players and give game time to those that have been injured and on the fringe. 

I will not tempt fate with a banana skin result. A win would be very nice thank you. Are there any streams this round?

I watched the last round on a Facebook page called “Smoggies on Tour”, I don’t know if it will be available on Tuesday, but it isn’t usually available until the kickoff whistle and about a minute behind.

Come on BORO.

 

This post was modified 6 months ago by exmil

   
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OFB, thank you for a informative book, oops meant opener 😂, I just wondered if the 334.5 miles is the road trip, as the supporters will travel or as the crow flys (by air) as the team will travel 🤔.

Come on BORO.


   
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@exmil 

Writing “the book” was cathartic as I had a lot to get out of my system after watching the inept display yesterday. 

Unfortunately I am one of those guys who when the highs are high it’s great and when the lows are lows it’s disastrous. I should really take a leaf out of the style and mannerisms adopted by Michael Carrick who shrugged it off as a bad day at the office and that you can’t win every game.

Although we could point to the loss of Smith and Hackney from the team yesterday there were quite a few players who performed under par. I cannot remember Howson have such a terrible game as that yesterday and Barlaser kept taking corners which were easily retrieved by the Stoke goalkeeper.

Unfortunately it looks as young Josh Coburn has still a long way to go in the game and whilst he put the effort in his timing and lack of pace were shown in this game.

Hopefully the next chapter of “the book” will result in a happy ending?

Or will that be a fairy story?

OFB


   
Liked by 4 people: exmil, Clive Hurren, Malcolm and K P in Spain
 
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6 hr 40 min (378.3 mi) via M6 and M5 !

   
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Philip of Huddersfield
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I am expecting  a victory on Tuesday v Exeter who are on a bad run and are struggling to score. They managed a draw at home on Saturday after a bad run of defeats.

I hope that MC doesn’t make lots of changes.  With all the injuries the squad picks itself and so it’s just a question of who starts the game and which players will come on as substitutes. I expect a change in goal and hope Coburn has a rest on the bench. The one player I hope plays is Dijksteel .

I’ve  always rated him but he’s become a forgotten man possibly due to a lot of injuries. 
A win would set up the team when back to the weekend Championship  fixture.

Philip of Huddersfield 

ps The locals here aren’t happy with the new coach - only 1 win in 7 and hammered by Leeds on Saturday. I have to say Leeds were special - lots of pace.


   
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Pedro de Espana
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Curtis Fleming, steps up as Caretaker Coach, as Bristol sack Nigel Pearson


   
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Pedro de Espana
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Just out of interest following Stoke’s 13million summer spend, here is Coventrys.

ARRIVALS 23/24

 

Players Club Transfer sum
Antalyaspor €9.00m
Everton FC €7.00m
Barnsley FC €4.60m
SC Heerenveen €4.30m
Burnley FC €2.30m
KV Oostende €2.25m
Barnsley FC €580k
Bristol City free transfer
Swansea City free transfer
Bologna FC 1909 loan transfer
Brighton & Hove Albion loan transfer
   
   
   
This post was modified 6 months ago by Pedro de Espana

   
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With 2 long trips coming up, it got me thinking, what are the longest and shortest distance away journeys Boro have ever made for a competitive fixture?  A European fixture and Darlington? Maybe in the very distant past we played someone even nearer than that?


   
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@eboroacum 

Longest away trip in the UK for a competitive match was to Torquay which is 19 miles further than Exeter. We played them in 1966/7, lost 2-1! The nearest was either Stockton or South Bank as they were both in the Northern League with us from 1889-1899. Furthest European game was Xanthi in Greece 2050 miles by road. Probably the furthest ever, friendly, was when we went on tour in 1975 to Australia, New Zealand and the final game was against Tahiti.


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@mw-in-darwin Isn't it a bit further trip to Plymouth on Saturday, though? I think Plymouth is further than Torquay from the Boro?

@OFB, thanks for a very informative starter. I did not know anything about Exeter FC. So greatly appreciated.

The 22-year-old Viljami Sinisalo has played just once for the Finnish national team, so I do not know much about him. The custodian's grandfather was the actor Veikko Sinisalo - one of my all time favourite actors in Finland. And very famous, too - every single person of my generation must know him in Finland. So Viljami must be good if he needs to waste time during the match!

I have never been down there in the South West of England (too far from my Boro holidays), but my wife has spent a few months in Torquay in 1970's to study English language. She was not a Boro supporter yet, as I met him only in 1981.

I hope we go through to the next round as I always enjoy a good cup run. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 6 months ago 3 times by jarkko

   
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Powmill-Naemore
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@jarkko and @mw-in-darwin ... Isn't it a bit further trip to Plymouth on Saturday, though? I think Plymouth is further than Torquay from the Boro?

 

You are quite right Jarkko. 356 miles (573 km) from the Riverside to Plainmoor, home to Torquay United, but 380 miles (611 km) to Home Park where Plymouth play hosts.... This piece of trivia was due to be revealed in my piece for the Plymouth game coming on Saturday, but OFB and MW and now you have forced my hand.   I did that bit or research about 6 weeks ago, so I am not plagiarising any of you...... honest !!!!

This post was modified 6 months ago by Powmill-Naemore

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Really first-class opener, Bob, and very informative. Really enjoyed it.


   
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jarkko
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@powmillnaemore Thank you for clarifying. Quite a distance for our fans.

Next Monday I will be travelllng to Oulu on business - that is the same distance exactly as Boro to Plymouth in 380 miles (611 km). I am even more clever than the Boro team. I will put my car on a train in the evening and will arrive in Oulu very early in the morning. But I have to drive back with two over night stops meeting other customers.

For info, Oulu is "only" half way up in Finland. Up the Boro!

This post was modified 6 months ago 2 times by jarkko

   
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Powmill-Naemore
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@jarkko Here are some interesting, but possibly worthless pieces of geographical trivia for a football fan.

It is common to talk of the distance between John o'Groats in Caithness and Land's End in Cornwall, which is 603 miles (970 km) as the crow flies, as the two most distance points on the island of Great Britain. By road that would be 837 miles (1347 km).

However, the two points that are truly furthest apart on Great Britain are actually Lizard Point (Cornwall) and Dunnet Head (Caithness) which are 610 miles apart (982 km), but interestingly the road journey is not  as long, being [only] 829 miles (1334 km). 

The straight line distance from the most northerly point in the British Isles (Out Stack, Shetland Isles), to the most southerly (Pednathise Head, Isles of Scilly) is 789 miles (1270 km) --- there is no road mileage for this one as there is rather a lot of water in the way !!!

Fortunately no football fan will need to get to any of those places to see a match 😉 


   
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Thanks for that Starter, @OFB, which I enjoyed reading (together with the subsequent replies, especially the geographical ones).  It really is staggerong that in 120 years, Boro has never played Exeter City before.  Hopefully we can say on Wednesdsay that Boro has a 100% win record against The Grecians.

Didn't Boro ever play Ironopolis in that team's (short) league liftetime?  If so, surely that would have been Boro's shortest ever journey as it wouldn't even have been necessary to leave Middlesbrough to fulfil the fixture.


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Maybe Middlesbrough FC never played against Middlesbrough Ironopolis (when in financial difficulties I remember hearing a merger was planned between the two teams but never came about and then 'Nops folded).  I have checked online and found the league and FA Cup records of 'Nops which covers their seasons from 1890-91 to 1893-94.

That latter season is very interesting and includes in the fixtures wins against Ardwick (now Manchester City), Burton Swifts, Small Heath (now Birmingham City), Rotherham Town, Lincoln City, Burslem Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, Luton Town and Northwich Victoria, but also defeats including the games against Liverpool, Grimsby Town, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Woolwich Arsenal.


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Riley McGree is again out injured at Exeter tomorrow.

"He had a problem with his foot, a plantar fascia problem," said Carrick at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow's Carabao Cup fourth round showdown with Exeter City. "They're notoriously difficult ones to predict time-wise and it's taking it step by step and managing it as it comes. That's why I can't really give you an exact timeline."

I am sure the player has the club doctor and others to look after him. But when I, my wife and my brother-in-law had the plantar fascia problems a few years back, it took a minimum of six months to heal. So I am really worried about Riley's well being until I see him back on the bench. I hope the young guy will heel off quicker, but somehow I am not that posive now. And he is our best player at the moment.

Up the Boro! 


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Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick is refusing to put a timescale on when Riley McGree will return to action. The Australian international has not featured since Boro's 2-0 win over Cardiff City on October 3.

A versatile forward, McGree has established himself as a firm fans' favourite since joining Middlesbrough from MLS side Charlotte FC in January 2022. The 24-year-old has been a key man for Boro this term, hitting five goals in 14 matches.

"He had a problem with his foot, a plantar fascia problem," said Carrick at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow's Carabao Cup fourth round showdown with Exeter City. "They're notoriously difficult ones to predict time-wise and it's taking it step by step and managing it as it comes. That's why I can't really give you an exact timeline.

Read more: EFL expert makes key Steve Gibson point after Middlesbrough's impressive Championship run

"We're seeing how it goes day by day and we'll have to wait and see."

Head coach Carrick has confirmed Middlesbrough have no fresh injury concerns ahead of their trip to St James Park. McGree, Darragh Lenihan, Marcus Forss, Tommy Smith and Lewis O'Brien remain on the sidelines, but Hayden Hackney is available for selection after serving a one-match suspension for collecting five yellow cards.

 
 

Carrick said: "There's nothing new with injuries, that's the best way to put it. That's a positive. It's as we were really."

Big defender Matt Clarke is in contention to make his first Middlesbrough appearance in over a year as Carrick is expected to rotate his squad following a busy period. Clarke has been an unused substitute in Boro's last two league matches.

On Clarke, Carrick said: "There's every chance he could feature, yeah. We'll have to see how much and assess that but yeah, he's in and around the group. As I've said to you, we are patient with him and there are steps to be taken but at the same point he has trained with us for a number of weeks now. He's part of the group."

 

This post was modified 6 months ago by Malcolm

   
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Clive Hurren
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@ofb 

Unfortunately I am one of those guys who when the highs are high it’s great and when the lows are lows it’s disastrous. 

OFB

Me too, mate! Regular readers will have noticed, I’m sure, how much my commentary on all things Boro and my reaction to wins/defeats varies like the weather! Promising, warm and sunny one week, freezing and extremely wet the next! I try to be a bit more measured but my emotions tend to get the better of me. 

That was a really informative, enjoyable and thorough starter, btw. Many thanks. I expect a Boro win tomorrow, but I also expect the Grecians to give us a hard game. (Why Grecians, not Greeks - does anyone know?) 

Btw, in your starter you omitted to tell us one key fact:- what’s a Grecian earn? 

 

 

 


   
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Pedro de Espana
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@exmil    When you say a “Facebook page”  (Smoggies on Tour)  is that using your mobile phone, logging into Facebook and then finding the page SonT?
Apologies about not being Facebook literate, although I do have a Facebook account for the rare time I need it.


   
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@jarkko - You would hope, Jarkko, that with the club doctor and no doubt also a specialist who would be consulted when the issue was identified, and seeing the physiotherist daily for exercises, it will take Riley McGree a lot less time to recover.

This post was modified 6 months ago by Forever Dormo

   
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Posted by: @pedro

@exmil    When you say a “Facebook page”  (Smoggies on Tour)  is that using your mobile phone, logging into Facebook and then finding the page SonT?
Apologies about not being Facebook literate, although I do have a Facebook account for the rare time I need it.

I have watched on both my iPad and iPhone, I have just found out that Bein Sports 1 has the live Exeter v Boro in their schedule for tomorrow night as well.

Come on BORO.

 


   
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Powmill-Naemore
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Thanks for the extensive opener OFB. How do manage to assemble all that detail in such a short space of time. Amazing. You certainly earn your night cap with late night excellence of that order!

For me, this has all the hallmarks for a classic banana skin. The sort that could catch out any Championship club, let alone one where the "Typical" adjective is often applied.

That said, even given our long list of first choice absentees, I would like to think we will be too strong for Exeter.

A long long way for the small number of Boro fans travellling, but what a privilege for them to be present at such a little piece of football history. Let's hope they are rewarded with  Boro's passage into the quarter finals for the third time since lifting the trophy.

I am going to borrow OFB's Boro3 and predict us winning 3-0.

CoB

This post was modified 6 months ago by Powmill-Naemore

   
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jarkko
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Posted by: @forever-dormo

@jarkko - You would hope, Jarkko, that with the club doctor and no doubt also a specialist who would be consulted when the issue was identified, and seeing the physiotherist daily for exercises, it will take Riley McGree a lot less time to recover.

I hope you are right.

But deep down I fear it can still be a few weeks if not nesessarily months. But the pain is tricky and in normal people takes very, very long to heel. Up the Boro!

 


   
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Matt Crooks’s next appearance will be his 100th appearance for Middlesbrough.

 

Jonny Howson is now joint third in the list of all-time Riverside appearances, while Paddy McNair and Dael Fry have passed into triple figures

OFB


   
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Head coach Michael Carrick has warned his Middlesbrough players to underestimate Exeter City at their peril. Boro face the League One side at St James Park in the Carabao Cup fourth round tonight.

Boro, who have already beaten Huddersfield Town, Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City in this year's competition, will be big favourites to progress to the last eight for the first time in two decades. But Carrick is refusing to look too far ahead.

He said: "You have to be very careful of over emphasising the opportunity. It's the next game, it's important we respect the game and the type of game it's going to be and respect the opposition and what they've done to get here.

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"Regardless of the stage of the competition and who is left in, it's us against Exeter that matters. We need to put a performance in to earn the right to win the game. That's as simple as it gets. Anything else after that, we'll assess after the game."

Exeter have been on a miserable run of form, losing six of their past seven matches. Their poor sequence of results has seen Gary Caldwell's side slip into the bottom half of the third tier of English football.


   
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