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Boro v Blackpool
 

Boro v Blackpool

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Original Fat Bob
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Kick-off: Saturday 18th September - 15:00

With everyone heaving a sigh of relief after successfully negotiating a tricky away tie to Nottingham Forest we turn our attention to another team currently languishing in the relegation zone.

Blackpool are our next opponents and Chris Hughton’s sacking by Nottingham Forest is another example of how unforgiving the Championship can be. Blackpool boss Neil Critchley was at the City Ground last night to watch Boro and thought Forest were unlucky not to at least share the spoils with a point.

Boro fans will have been heartened by the contribution of Andraz Sporar on Wednesday evening. The striker has joined Boro on an initial loan from Sporting Lisbon and it was considered a real coup for Boro to sign him. Sporar showed what the fuss was all about on his first full start, as he put is a goal up with a powerful shot at the City Ground. Even though the Slovenian wasn’t always provided with great service, he took the one chance that did come his way in style.

Onel Hernandez marked his appearance with the second goal of the game on Wednesday to secure a vital three points after pouncing on a mistake by the debutant Forest keeper. Hernandez is already well on his way to becoming a popular face at the club and I don’t suppose Warnock will be too unhappy if the striker keeps getting yellow cards after scoring goals for the club!

Now that the team have had a week for the new players to settle in together and have played a competitive game, hopefully Boro can kick on and make a real charge for the top six over the next few months. Ever the optimist aren’t we Diasborians?

James Lea Siliki another one of our new players looked really composed and comfortable in Boro's midfield. He appears to have the ability to read the game well, and can play some delightful incisive passes opening up defences and creating chances. What I also noticed was that he seems to play with a smile on his face and appears to be enjoying his football.

Tavernier is slowly getting back to form and his running including making defensive cover has showed what the team had been missing for the past few games.

Hopefully Bola and Paddy will be fit for Saturday as I doubt if Peltier can summon up enough energy to cover the ground for another game coming so soon. He appeared to be suffering from cramp at the end of the game against Forest which is hardly surprising considering his lack of game time. One useful trick in his armoury is his ability to throw the ball a long way which can open up defences in a crowded penalty area.

Lumley, Dijksteel, Hall and Fry appear to be a settled formation now. Fry is becoming more and more influential in every game and hopefully Boro can resist clubs calling for him in January.

Blackpool believe that striker Gary Madine’s return will give them a much-needed added dimension in their attack. Madine endured an injury-plagued second half of last season, failing to make an appearance for three-and-a-half months, but returning in time for Blackpool’s play-off campaign. His groin problems were still present, however, and he required surgery during the summer. Madine’s return could see Tyreece John-Jules play on the left wing.

Let’s not be in any doubt that the game against Blackpool on Saturday like any other in the attrition that is the Championship will not be easy. Fulham who are riding high at the top found out this to their cost when suffering defeat to Blackpool last week.

So Diasborians let’s have your predictions a storming win?A scrappy draw? Or whisper it, an ignominious defeat???

Me? I’m positive as always! I’m going for a 2-0 win ! Up the Boro

OFB


John Richardson
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OFB,

Thanks for the opener.

I hope Boro have a little more momentum and confidence after last night certainly Sporar should have that was an absolute snorter from a beautiful pass. The Forest goalkeeper's heavy control, well it could happen to any keeper but full marks to Hernandez for being there and scoring a poacher's goal, tap ins or twenty yard shots they all count. Britt would have missed that, in fact he probably wouldn't have got up and followed up so that's an academic point.

Great to see a win and I'm going for a Boro win 2-1.

Would I put my shirt on Hernadez scoring again?  If he does please ask him to keep his shirt on.

Now for a weeks fishing in the peace of the Wye Valley and setting off with a smile on my face

UTB,

John


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Andy R
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Thanks Bob, much appreciated.

Bola being fit will be the main ingredient to add to what we had against Forest, that and a boost in confidence and match fitness for the newcomers.

Hopefully he comes in for Peltier and if Payero is fit, it would be great to see him too, probably in place of Crooks. Jones could count himself unlucky not to start against Forest and I'd be happy to see him return as well though not concerned if it's Hernandez again with Jones coming on against tiring legs later in the game.

Hopefully it's the same shape as against Forest so that Djiksteel, Tavernier and, if selected, Jones can play in their most familiar positions.

Blackpool should be a stiffer test than Forest with Josh Bowler perhaps the one to watch. Keep him shackled and we can make it consecutive wins.

Boro 2-1 Blackpool


jarkko
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I will be happy with the same 2-0 scoreline for Boro as it was at Forest yesterday. A clean sheet is all we need now and then a couple of goals from the numerous changes we start to create.

Mind, we could have easily scored a third yesterday.

So 1-0 after 22 min by Crooks and then another by Fry in the second half. Up the Boro!


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K P in Spain
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Thanks OFB for the Blackpool pre match preview.

A stiffer test than last night I suspect but if we do have top six aspirations then we need to be dispatching teams like this with a degree of ease rather than through gritted teeth.

Same formation for me and hopefully Bola back.  If PM is restored to the side then it has to be in a midfield role.

I will be happy with 1-0 and keeping a clean sheet run going which always builds confidence.  No typical Boro please! 😎

 


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Andy R
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@k-p-in-spain

Please no McNair in midfield!


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K P in Spain
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@andy-r.  Please no McNair in back four!  Might have to be the bench then! 😎


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Andy R
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@k-p-in-spain

Agreed! Only place I could find for him is in a back three but whilst I've been a strong advocate for wingbacks over the last few seasons, the squad has completely changed now whereby we're short on wingbacks and have plenty of wingers. I think we've underused the wingback system in the past few seasons but it's not optimal for this squad and that means the bench for McNair in my opinion as he'd be third or fourth choice centre back for a back four (maybe lower) and even lower for central midfield behind Howson, Siliki, Payero, Crooks and probably Tavernier too.


deleriad
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McNair is a quality player. He struggles when moved from defence to attacking midfielder but pretty much anyone would. He is, I think, not quite strong enough to play in a defensive two but is excellent as part of a three. Like Tav, sometimes he's a victim of his versatility.

Personally I think our best tactic is to be able to switch between 4-2-3-1 and 3-1-4-2 depending on the opponents. We've now got enough actual wingers to make this work. Really 3-1-4-2 is just 4-4-2 with defensive full backs and one of the centre backs playing slightly forwards. We now have plenty of wingers but no wing-backs so this works.

I suspect against Blackpool that Warnock may start with 2 or all of JLS, Sporar and Hernandez on the bench purely to guard against injuries from lack of fitness. Presuming that Bola and McNair are fit then I think we'll see them both plus Jones.  Apparently Blackpool play 4-4-2 so you may see us lining up in a similar way. E.g.

Lumley

Dijksteel Hall Fry Bola

Tav Howson McNair Jones

Crooks

Uche


Selwynoz
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It's always tricky to know which games demand a back three and which a back four. You can argue either way. Playing a back three with a holding player in front can allow us to have 6 attacking players. Alternatively, if the wingbacks are full backs in disguise, picked to nullify a wide threat, it can turn into a very defensive formation.

Similarly with a back four; it can release even more players forward but there is always the risk of leaving space behind an attacking fullback which is easier to cover with three at the back. 

If we're going to really go on the attack - and if Bola still isn't fit - I could imagine us playing with a back three of Hall, McNair and Fry and Sporar playing off Ikpeazu. Something like this

         Lumley

Hall   McNair    Fry

         Howson

Tavernier Crooks Payero/Silliki  Jones/Hernandez

         Sporar

         Ikpeazu

That would be fun to watch and there would be the opportunity to change the shape or make a difference with subs of 

Silliki/Payero

Hernandez/Jones

Watmore

Coburn

Peltier

Dijksteel

Daniels

I don't think that it's likely but it wouldn't be boring.

UTB

This post was modified 1 month ago by Selwynoz

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werdermouth
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Thanks for the positive preview OFB and illuminating us on the visit of Blackpool. I'm sure most people will be anticipating a win on Saturday as Boro try to get their season up and running.

Indeed, Boro really do need to start running if they are to catch up with the current pace-setters, where five of the top six are currently managing that magic 2-point-per-game automatic-promotion form or better - with sixth place Huddersfield just shy of that target with 13 point from seven games.

The Boro manager commented on the performance at Forest by saying "I thought that was more like a Neil Warnock team" - a worrying shift to talking in the third person that may alarm some Boro followers. Although, given the performance was nothing special against a poor side, maybe that is not the superlative that will be necessarily synonymous with the kind of display fans are wanting to see.

Clearly the most important thing was the win itself and Warnock was forced into another tactical formation of 4-2-3-1 after he found himself with only two fully-fit centre-backs and no credible wing-backs. Post-match he viewed the switch as a success and was full of praise for both his centre-backs and his full-backs - in fact he went on to add that he didn't need to play with a back three if they were as solid as this.

This seems to indicate that we'll get more of the same against Blackpool with perhaps a tweak in personnel - while he praised Peltier for his performance, you would think if Bola is fit it would be better to have a left-footer at left full-back - though he could be rewarded with another start but going down with cramp after just over an hour would seem to indicate he may struggle with another 90 minutes.

Siliki may have also hit the fitness wall midweek and may not be risked again - apparently Payero is expected to be fit so it would make sense to see him as one of the two midfielders alongside Howson.

Perhaps Jones will also get the nod over Hernandez, who is another still getting up to speed. That would for me mean Crooks playing in the number ten role with Tav on the right and hopefully the real star in the making, Sporar, able to show the Riverside what he's about.

So my line-up would be...

Lumley

Dijksteel - Fry - Hall - Bola

Payero - Howson

Tavernier - Crooks - Jones

Sporar

Prediction: needs to be a win and an early goal should make it comfortable - I'll go 2-0 again as real Neil Warnock sides ultimately enter game management once a two-goal lead has been established and don't look to fill their boots!


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K P in Spain
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@werdermouth.  Looks like MB & PM will still be out but Payero fit.  I suspect it will be same again with Payero on the bench.  An improved performance and 3 points are all that is needed, not too much to ask is it! 😎😂


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Original Fat Bob
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Let’s be positive Diasborians 

Its Friday Night 

The wine is open 🍷

Derby have gone bust 

And tomorrow we’ll all be singing 

 

Que Šporar, Šporar

Boro have a striker to see

Playoffs at Wembley

Que Šporar, Šporar

OFB


Clive Hurren
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Thanks very much for your opener, OFB. I think (I hope!) we’ll have too much for Blackpool. Any win will do, but isn’t it about time we thrashed somebody?I’ll go for a more realistic 2-0 home win, however. 


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David in Cumbria
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Thanks for the preview OFB. As you mentioned, the main problem with Bola not being fit is whether Peltier can manage 2 games in 4 days in order to stay with our 4-4-2 formation and match up with Blackpool. He certainly had a hard time against Forest. I also wonder if Howson can again manage as the sole defensive midfielder. I wouldn't be surprised if there were several changes to the team as NW is still trying to get the new players match fit and playing.    

I have all my "home" hotels booked through to the end of October though the Peterborough match on 16 October was a problem with hotels already full, presumably for the 90's festival and the Oktoberfest. I had given up on getting to that match until I remembered Jurys Inn and got a room there (at a price!). The only time I have stayed there previously was in 2010 for Juninho's testimonial when it was a Thistle Hotel.  


Selwynoz
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

Let’s be positive Diasborians 

Its Friday Night 

The wine is open 🍷

Derby have gone bust 

And tomorrow we’ll all be singing 

 

Que Šporar, Šporar

Boro have a striker to see

Playoffs at Wembley

Que Šporar, Šporar

OFB

Great song. I’ll hope to hear it when I tune in tonight.

I totally agree with your sentiments. We all expend so much mental energy in our support of MFC that it seems a shame not to take some positivity out of good things that happen. I’m prepared to point out mistakes and bad decisions but, equally, I will admire things around the club  that are done well and I don’t want to go into a game expecting the worst.

Best to everyone and let’s hope for another win and a climb up the table.

utb


werdermouth
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I read a bit of a bizarre story this morning as to why several players were not at their best last Saturday - it turns out that Inspector Warnock thinks he has discovered why this might have been.

While no doubt he has been looking to build a squad of hungry players, it appears some players have been taking this to the extreme. He found four players hadn't eaten anything between 6pm Friday and midday Saturday before the game, which resulted in them having poor energy levels. He argued that it's important for players to stuff themselves before a game in order to get the right energy and fitness levels for a game.

Instead, the players in question had apparently just lounged around in bed until lunchtime and then tried to overload with food. So, let's see if this new regime of enforced breakfast pay dividends today as success-starved supporters get a second helping of three points!

Still, let's hope that if things go wrong we don't end up hearing the excuse that some of the players were too full to run around the pitch...


Malcolm
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Andy R
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@werdermouth

Fingers crossed that they’ve had their Weetabix this morning (other breakfasts are available) - I’m taking my 8-year-old to her first game.


werdermouth
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@andy-r

Hope she gets a game to remember and comes back for more!

btw I've already had two breakfasts this morning (coffee and toast at 7:30 then porridge with hazelnut at 10:00) so I should have the right energy levels to watch the match once I've had brunch and then lunch!


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werdermouth
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btw Andy, hopefully she didn't misunderstand when you asked if she wanted see Blackpool - if she's waiting with a bucket and spade it could be a difficult afternoon...


deleriad
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@werdermouth

25 years ago under Robbo, at an away game the players would have hit the hotel bar then gone back upstairs and gambled at cards until 3am. 

Now they stay up until 3am playing Xbox and drinking water instead.

It's all the same thing. Young men, away from home, bored and figuring out that they can tough out a game the next day. 

Off for the remains of last night's curry for breakfast now. Breakfast of the gods, curry in the morning.


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Andy R
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@werdermouth

oh-oh - she does love Blackpool…. 😬 


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lenmasterman
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@andy-r

You could tell her you will be taking her on a great roller coaster ride.

And buy her a stick of rock.


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Ken Smith
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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all it is what it says - breaking a fast, as long as it’s not a full English breakfast. Gary Player is one of the fittest sportsmen in the World for his age and once said that he wouldn’t even give his dog bacon and sausages as they sap energy. Muesli, a banana or a grapefruit, fruit juice, toasted bread and yoghurt should suffice for energy. I’m not opposed to bacon, sausages and black pudding per se, but once a week as a treat and certainly not for footballers before a match. I know how lethargic a cooked breakfast can be from experience - as bad as not having breakfast at all. 

On another subject the 12 point deduction possibly rising to 21 points for Derby County will surely mean League One football for the Rams next season. However if Hartlepool can continue their magnificent home form and start winning away from home against Oldham today they should reach a top 7 playoff place with every chance of promotion, and intriguingly for me remembering the mid 50s seasons when they and the Rams were both in the old Third Division North when only the Champions and the Third Division South Champions gained promotion.  I can still recall some of that Pool’s team captained by Watty Moore, with such stars as Ron Guthrie, Kenny Johnson, George Luke, Tommy McGuigan, Joe Newton, Frank Stamper and Kenny Waugh - was it really 65 years ago? I know, hardly any Diasborians will have heard of any of those players, but one can’t beat a bit of nostalgia at my age.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Ken Smith

Redcar Red
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It will be an interesting encounter this afternoon as to who can keep the momentum going, us after beating Forest or Blackpool after beating Fulham. I just hope we see another back four and all thoughts of Dijksteel as a wing back consigned to the horrible history books.

I would go with Tav at LB as Peltier looked short of pace, decidedly one footed and not his left one. The other thing for me with Tav is that he can tackle and has a burst of energy which I think perfectly suits the skill sets of a LB. I know he has great potential and one day he could be a top Premiership player but sadly I think our fans are slightly optimistic with that concept.

Tav thus far has failed to step up the the level required of a top attacking midfielder despite showing tantalising glimpses. The problem is those glimpses are too few and far apart as well as the ultimate end product inevitably being badly executed more often than not. Stick him in at LB and it could be the making of him (and Boro).

I'm not sure that we miss McNair and his set pieces which never result in anything of merit. Launching a ball into the opposition box isn't a skill it's just an ability to hoof a ball. It's not Paddy's fault, clearly there are no routines practiced or rehearsed at Rockliffe. As a CB Pairing I think Hall and Fry are better balanced between them. We now have an abundance of midfielders and with Howson likely being nailed on in Warnock's eyes if fit that leaves Siliki, Payero and Crooks fighting for the other two places not forgetting young Malley breathing down their necks.

Sporar looked the real deal after his midweek bow but Ikpeazu offers some threat of the giant earthmoving Caterpillar/JCB variety. I guess it's Horses for courses depending on the opposition but I think the "plan" will be to save the bulldozer until late in the game with Andraz getting the nod.

Jones I suspect was rested rather than dropped and again I hope to see him on the left wing rather than as a wing back, seriously negating his effectiveness and attacking threat. Hernandez then gets the other flank for me with Watmore, Oluysana and Co. having to be content for a place on the bench. 

The bench is perhaps worthy of note with Daniels, Peltier, Bamba, McNair (if fit), Olusanya, Ikpeazu, Payero and Watmore all looking for seven seats on the bench. That's a fairly decent subs bench at this level and certainly the strongest that I can think of for many seasons. I'm still far from convinced that Warnock won't resist the temptation to tinker and go with a set up that he hasn't the players for but assuming common sense dictates his tactics then this should be a game we look to take maximum points from. The Forest game was far from convincing so I wouldn't be surprised to see yet another dull and underwhelming 0-0 or 1-1 draw. Hope Warnock sends out a winning team and one that have had a full fry up this morning.

 


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exmil
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OK after that optimistic opener, own up what have you done with the real OFB.

Come on BORO.


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PaulInBoro
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On a  side note given the overnight news about Derby and the plan to enter administration, I wonder sometimes how close we are/have sailing to that abyss. 


Andy R
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Pretty much agree with all of that, RR.

I also think that, certainly at a higher level, Tav may end up as a wingback or even fullback (like his brother up at Rangers).


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Original Fat Bob
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@redcarred

great post RR

Hopefully breakfast will have been sorted and we'll see a Fry up at goal. Wat more asked NW? You’ll just have to have a bola porridge. That’s hall you’re going to get ! Eat more how son? You’ve had enough by crooks! Next breakfast we may have some hash brownes and if you don’t eat properly I’ll peltier all.

All together now 🎶 que sporar sporar bam bam bamba🎶

The team look at the old man thinking he’s definitely lost the plot!

OFB


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