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Mansfield v Boro (F...
 

Mansfield v Boro (FA Cup 3rd Round)

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Andy R
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With the Sheffield United game eventually postponed due to a widespread COVID-19 outbreak in the Boro squad and backroom, the next one to look ahead to is an FA Cup 3rd Round tie away to Mansfield Town, currently scheduled for Saturday at 12.15pm.

At the time of writing, there’s no update on the state of Boro’s readiness to play and this game remains very much in doubt. The only major breaking news of the past few days has been that Boro fans have been taking the Christmas decorations down en masse!

However, with young goalkeeper Sol Brynn recalled from Boro feeder club Queen of the South (that’s right isn’t it, don’t they take all our youngsters now?) and new Brighton loanee Aaron Connolly added to the squad, Boro’s numbers may have been sufficiently boosted to play, who knows?

Connolly has successfully divided opinion before even kicking a ball for Boro but a cup tie against League Two opposition would appear to be an ideal fixture to get some minutes into his legs, having made only four appearances for his Premier League parent club so far this season. With Boro short of suitable options up front even without illness, a lively striker of Connolly’s ilk will have been high on the agenda for Chris Wilder and Kieran Scott and ordinarily it would be pleasing to see the club move so quickly and decisively to land their man. With Boro also struggling for creativity from the left, Connolly’s natural trait of hanging slightly deep and left of centre and driving forwards and infield looks a good tactical match-up for Boro this season and with youthful zest aplenty about his game, there’s a lot to like about this move from a footballing point of view.

Against that however, his goalscoring record has been practically non-existent, although some of that can be put down to a large percentage of substitute appearances in a low scoring side and at a higher level than Boro currently operate. The real problem for Connolly has not been on the field of course, and that’s where the eyebrows are raised at this move. With nothing but hearsay to go on, albeit generally accepted and seemingly undisputed hearsay, I won’t go into that other than to say that it would be nice if all 21yr-old men had the maturity of their fathers and grandfathers but very few do. Being optimistic, perhaps a move to Teesside, away from the nightlife of Brighton and London, will help him focus. Perhaps regular first team football, should he earn the opportunity, will also help.

Wilder has some previous with taking such gambles as he took Ravel Morrison on a short-term deal whilst at Sheffield United. The move didn’t work out and Morrison was of course loaned to Jonathan Woodgate’s Boro for yet another unsuccessful spell. Connolly is much younger than Morrison of course but perhaps there is some comparison to be made.

In summary, there’s certainly an element of risk about this loan but it is only a loan and I can see why Wilder/Scott are interested in what he can do on the pitch.

Should the match go ahead it will be interesting to see how the Boro line up. You’d normally expect a much-rotated XI but it may be a case of whoever is available for Chris Wilder against an in form Mansfield.

The Stags sit ninth in League Two but have won their last four scoring nine goals in the process. Nigel Clough’s side are three points off the playoff places with a game in hand after their past two fixtures were postponed due to their own COVID outbreak. Having not played since Boxing Day, could it be that they are recovered and well rested ahead of the visit from a potentially depleted Boro with bigger prizes on our minds?

Maybe, but whilst Mansfield are in decent nick, Boro have been in superb form and against a team two divisions below, we will surely fancy our chances of keeping the momentum going. The Stags have generally been short of goals in League Two and will come up against a Championship defence,  that has conceded just once in the past five outings. Assuming it is a Championship defence we can field rather than an U23 one.

So more questions than insights about this game it seems. Will it go ahead? Who is fit to play for either side? Is Aaron Connolly a gamble worth taking? And with play-off places on the minds of both sides, will the game be the magic or the monotony of the Cup?


Forever Dormo
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Thanks for that, Andy R.

Difficult, really, to make predictions on a match when it isn't possible to say which players will be available nor when the game will be played.


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Malcolm
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The FA cup has now become a distraction for many supporters. It is nothing like it used to be.

For Boro if they win great, if they lose no problem. I see it has a good chance to introduce other players (if there is any left that is)

The FA cup or top six. You know the answer.


Liked by 4 people: lenmasterman, Andy R, Ken Smith and Original Fat Bob
 
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Original Fat Bob
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Thanks Andy for starting off the first post for 2022.

If we take the most optimistic view that we are on an upward trend and playing well then it should be a winnable game. 

But, as we know from over the years including the recent tenure of our previous manager the Boro are not guaranteed to win any cup game either at home or away.

As we are not privy to the medical status of the squad or how long the isolation period is going to last for individual team members then the team is probably going to include U23 players and of course any new signings and returning loan players.

I have confidence in our manager who will hopefully stay Covid free and can coach the players, lay the kit out and drive the bus to bring a winning team home to Rockliffe from Mansfield.

OFB


Liked by 4 people: Powmill-Naemore, Andy R, Ken Smith and K P in Spain
 
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John Richardson
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Andy a great opener and as you say more questions than answers.

Remember everyone there's always a chance of the seemingly forgotten 'Typical Boro Banana Skin'. Our successes last month seem to have blurred our memories. I remember in our promotion season in 66/67 we beat Mansfield 3-4 but 0-2 would do this time.

I must be getting greedy.

UTB,

John

PS, OFB, don't forget the meat paste sandwiches and a couple of flasks of tea.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by John Richardson

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Forever Dormo
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Well, I'd rather WIN the FA Cup than finish in the top 6 but not get promoted via the play-offs.  In fact, if truth be told, I'd rather WIN the FA Cup and NOT get promoted full stop (this season).  That 's because:

1. An FA Cup win can never be taken away from you (unlike Premier League status where you can go up and come down - as Norwich City fans know only too well).  We could point to our League Cup win and the new FA Cup win, Sunderland could point to their FA Cup win in 1973.  Newcastle fans won't be able to remember a domestic cup win - well, they have to be well in their 70s to remember the football results from 1955!

2. Winning the FA Cup would put us back into European football.

3. Chris Wilder only joined us well into this season and promotion at the first attempt would have been a lot to ask.  But imagine, FA Cup holders and playing in Europe as well as with time for a well-respected manager to get the team playing the way he wants it to, it would be easier to get the players he wants and MORE likely to be promoted next season. 

4. I am assuming it's greedy to want the FA Cup AND promotion this season....


Original Fat Bob
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 Neil Taylor signed for Boro until end of season

OFB

 


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Original Fat Bob
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@forever-dormo

i can understand your logic but it would be more financially beneficial for us to get promotion to the Premiership even for just one season than win the FA Cup.

I would like to see at least one more season in the Premiership.

OFB


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David in Cumbria
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Thanks Andy. Unfortunately the gap between the top (rich) teams and the rest now seems to be so big that even with a "reserve" team they still dominate the FA cup. While I do watch when games are televised, just to occupy my time, I don't pay that much attention even to the final. I wouldn't mind a win over Mansfield though followed by a home game against a Premier League side. 

We will have to hope that Connolly proves he can score again. So far this season our present strikers  haven't been that prolific so he might fit in naturally but it will be great if they all start scoring more.  

I see that Barcelona won on Saturday with 17 players missing from their squad. Considering how much they have been depleted recently that was some achievement. La Liga rules are even tougher than what the EFL wanted to enforce against us.

Just had another look at my postal Covid Pass. The letter enclosed with it says the Pass is valid until 21 January while the Pass says it expires on 15 January! It won't make any difference as the next home game is scheduled for 15 January but I wish things could be more straightforward to understand.  


Martin Bellamy
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@forever-dormo I’m with you on this one. 29th Feb 2004 far outweighs promotion in my Boro memories, particularly after our disappointing Wembley cup final losses. 
I know from talking to my Wigan Athletic supporting friends that they’ll never forget their FA Cup win - the Latics name is on the cup and in the record books. 


Pedro de Espana
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Great Headliner Andy, the first of 2022 and setting the standard for the year.

Not sure why we kick off at 12.15, as it not being shown as being streamed by any provider. I guess if it goes ahead then depending who is available, a rest for some and an opportunity for those on the fringes such as Payero and of course Connolly.

One thing confirmed by CW today,  NO loans players are being recalled.


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exmil
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@pedro: The reason given for the Mansfield match being moved back 15 minutes was for overseas broadcasters, how much difference 15 minutes will make is anyones guess.

Come on BORO.


exmil
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Good news for Boro Stoke lost 1-2 at home to Preston, one of the games in hand !

Come on BORO.


Andy R
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Topic starter  

I too would take a trophy over promotion, even if Premier League money is better for the long term. The game is about the glory of trophies in my eyes. What’s the point of £100m if it doesn’t eventually lead to a trophy anyway?

However, you have to prioritise whatever you think you’ve got the most chance of achieving. For us, we’ve got FAR more chance of promotion than we have of winning the FA Cup this season so I’d like to win but wouldn’t be overly bothered if we didn’t.


Pedro de Espana
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@exmil   I was wrong exmil.  The Mansfield game, if it goes ahead, is being shown by ESPN, but not in the Middle East it looks like. Via play in Finland for Jarrko, and SuperSport. 

Good chance of some streams being available on the internet then.


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jarkko
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@forever-dormo I am with you. But that would need a huge extension to our trophy cabinet. At least two times bigger....

Up the Boro!

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by jarkko

Forever Dormo
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@pedro: How about you take it on yourself to put out a link to the relevant streams, if that is (1) permissible and (2) not to put a burden on your shoulders?

It will, in any event be on the good old steam-powerered BBC Tees....


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Forever Dormo
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Maybe, as a demographic, we tend towards the Golden Generation rather than Millennial. So whilst it would appear from the comments above that an FA Cup win would be favoured over promotion to the Premier League by a majority of posters so far, perhaps a majority of youngsters might think the Premier League outweighs all else in football terms.  Obviously to achieve winning both would be ideal, though greedy.

When I was young, stories/comics etc were about winning the FA Cup and the glory attached to that, rather than winning the League (whichever division that might be). However, as we all know, football was invented by Sky TV and the Premier League.  Soon all records will be re-written to reflect that (*cough, cough*).

Having said which, I am sure Leicester City fans would have regarded it as a dream worthy of a series of comic-book stories that they should have won both the League and FA Cup within a handful of years as a relatively unfancied club, especially with teams like Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal having such wealthy backing.  Weren't we all, on this Blog, supporting Leicester and delighted both by their League and their Cup Final wins?  So dreams can be true.  And didn't somebody say the game was all about the glory?

 


Powmill-Naemore
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Interesting to read what people think about the cup and whether there is a preference to win  promotion.

I am in the camp that says give me the cup. That is (still) the glory and it is more realistic to think we could win a cup again than to win the Premier League.

That said, as far as following a football club goes I don't think there is anything wrong with being greedy, so let us get our name inscribed on the FA Cup plinth AND get promoted this year as well. I'd be happy twice over with that.

 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Powmill-Naemore

Pedro de Espana
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@forever-dormo    Normally for seeing a particular (EG. SKY) match widely available on the internet, it is just a case of Google free streams or try the links like the ones previosly given by Werder and Malcolm. 

VIP League used to be a good one , but got closed down. I will have a look and post a link if available.


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Plato
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Nice cuptie for the week end, should win, New loanee, striker, promising, all good!1 


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lenmasterman
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On streaming, I'm always a bit wary of what I'm clicking on to.

Can those with more experience give any guidance on whether it's safe to give credit card details (eg via Bet 365) in order to watch a match.

Given that streaming is a dodgy operation anyway it seems unwise to give the people running it confidential information.

Am I being too cautious or is the risk slight and therefore worth it?

Any advice would be very welcome.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by lenmasterman

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Ken Smith
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Posted by: @exmil

Good news for Boro Stoke lost 1-2 at home to Preston, one of the games in hand !

Come on BORO.

 


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Ken Smith
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Far too early in my opinion about what other teams do. Let’s just concentrate on the Boro.


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Ken Smith
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I do admit though that LOSING our Premier League status was a blow and that winning the FA Cup against Chelsea in 1997 would have been scant consolation in my eyes. But I’d now take winning the FA Cup over just one season in the Premier League winning only occasionally. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Ken Smith

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Redcar Red
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@lenmasterman

Hi Len, don't hand over any card details. There are other sites that provide streams for all games being played with varying degrees of quality and buffering. The only Card details should be with trusted sites like the iFollow sites.


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deleriad
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Assuming this goes ahead, I want to see us put out a close to full-strength side other than injuries and covid. We're playing just weekly in January so tiredness won't be an issue. The only changes I would make would be Brynn on the bench instead of Daniels and give Connolly a start alongside Sporar. If we're down a midfielder than I would start Payero but I wouldn't change for the sake of it. 

Nothing breeds success like success and we want as many of our A-team players playing the matches in January that we can get on the pitch. Treating Mansfield as a chance to try out fringe players could easily come back to bite us. 


exmil
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Posted by: @ken

Far too early in my opinion about what other teams do. Let’s just concentrate on the Boro.

Ken, I posted it for interest, especially for those abroad (different time zones).

Come on BORO.


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K P in Spain
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Great opener thanks Andy. 

I am with Deleriad as far as Saturday goes and would like to see CW field as many first teasers as possible. The more they play and win together the greater the winning mentality becomes. 😎

 


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Pedro de Espana
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@redcarred    Len, I am with RR on that. Apart from authenticated providers like iFollow in the UK, never give any details over the internet.

Sometimes in can be quite difficult entering a streaming site as some are technically illegal. Also if you have good Anti Virus Software on your PC, I use Kaspersky, you more than often get blocked by it from accessing the stream. It is then a judgment as to override the blockage.

Some sites are fine, just too many adverts at times.


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