Join us for Wednesday’s Middlesbrough news and views.
Today, we continue the build-up to Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City.
We’ll hear from manager Jonathan Woodgate in his press conference at 4pm. We’ll also get the latest from the Cardiff end ahead of the game and the verdict from a Bluebirds reporter on how Aden Flint has settled in.
There’s the latest on the injury front. And we’ll take a look at what’s going on elsewhere across the Championship.
Also coming up today, there’s the highlights of Jamie Pollock’s recent podcast with BBC Tees. That’s well worth a listen.
And we continue our discussion from yesterday about Boro’s best signing of the last 10 years. You can vote in a poll on that HERE.
Join Dominic Shaw for Boro updates throughout the day.
Training ground footage
Jamie Pollock was the latest guest on BBC Tees Sport’s Boro podcast series last week.
The former midfielder was in fine form reflecting on his career, his gratitude for having played the game for a living coming across loud and clear.
He’s the chairman of Billingham Synthonia now and is “very excited” about the club’s future having helped to steady the ship behind the scenes.
In the podcast with Matty Jones and Matty Nixon, of BBC Tees , he talks about:
- His early Boro memories
- Playing for Bryan Robson and how things changed at Boro after promotion
- His move to Spain
- That own-goal for Manchester City
- The biggest mistake he made in his career
It’s well worth taking an hour to listen to the entertaining podcast in full HERE.
And HERE are some of the highlights.
What a hit this was from Fabio!
Boro set to meet familiar face
Boro will come up against a familiar face on Saturday in the form of Aden Flint.
The towering defender had quickly become a key player for Neil Warnock at Cardiff.
WalesOnline asked Philip Tallentire for the Boro view on Flint ahead of the reunion.
Last season, Flint was an important part of the joint-best defence in terms of goals conceded. But, by his own admission, he failed to make an impact in the opposition box.
Flint showed at Bristol City that he was capable of scoring upwards of 10 goals a season from set-pieces but managed just one for Boro.
That was a mystery, especially as Tony Pulis teams tend to be effective from corners and free-kicks.
The blame wasn’t just Flint’s to shoulder, Middlesbrough were generally woeful from set-pieces last season and poor delivery just as much as wayward finishing was the reason.
Flint’s presence at the back would have been an asset this season though there are suggestions he would have struggled to adapt to Boro’s new tactic of playing the ball out from the back.
That may have been a fair summary but it must be said Woodgate’s team are not trying to copy Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Yes, they will pass from the back when the opportunity arises, but they are just as likely to use other methods when in possession.
We’ll never know whether Woodgate would have utilised Flint had he still been on the books. He’d have definitely played games due to the aforementioned injury issues, but it’s far from certain that he’d have been a first choice selection with a fully fit list of defenders to choose from.
Howson’s assessment of the season so far
Jonny Howson’s assessment of the season so far: Solid.
He reckons Boro’s performances have been better than the table suggests.
The midfielder spoke to Anthony Vickers at an MFC Foundation event earlier this week.
“Everyone’s aware that a bit of change is going on, a different way of playing, there’s new players, some young lads coming in.
“But the majority of the team is still here from last season and maybe that last 10 -15 minutes against Reading stood us in good stead.
“Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a couple of things we can brush up on but I think if you look at the games, we should have had a few more points than we’ve actually got.
“The one that sticks in my mind is the first game of the season when we were 3-2 up and we got a penalty with 10 minutes to go and you think you should win from there.
“Then the Brentford game when we played really well in the first half and should probably have been a goal or two up at the break.
“We’ve had a few decisions gone against us in the early games but that’s how it goes in football sometimes.
“I’m always one to look at the positives and performance wise we’ve had a good start.”
There’s more HERE.
Early offer on Lionesses tickets ends tonight
Boro revealed earlier this week that more than 18,000 tickets have so far been sold for the Lionesses game at the Riverside.
An excellent response.
The early offer of £7.50 for adults tickets ends tonight.
You can buy your tickets HERE.
Have your say
Thousands of fans have voted so far.
Influence the results by having your say.
Frontrunners in best signing poll
We were discussing this yesterday and asked you for your view.
So far, Darren Randolph is leading the way in the poll ahead of George Friend and Grant Leadbitter.
You can read the story HERE.
On the back page today: Deal of the decade?
Hello and good morning.
It’s press conference day at Rockliffe.
Jonathan Woodgate will be speaking to the press at 4pm. We’ll bring you live updates from Rockliffe and plenty of reaction afterwards.
Before then, we’ll continue the build-up to Saturday’s Cardiff trip. And continue the best signing of the last decade discussion from yesterday.
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