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The Preview: Middlesbrough v Blues

Posted: Tue 08 Apr 2014
Author: bcfc.com
Image by: Pete Stanley

bcfc.com previews tonight’s Sky Bet Championship game against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium (7.45pm kick-off).

Steve Watson on Blues’ win at Doncaster on Saturday…
“The first half it was pretty even-stevens and there wasn’t a lot in it, but we conceded a goal. At half time we always felt we were in the game, and as we’ve proved many times this season we can score goals and affect teams away from home. The second half I thought we were terrific and we dominated. Speaking to Paul Dickov afterwards he was full of praise for the way we played. We’ve got a lot of confidence going into Middlesbrough and there’s no reason why we can’t go there and take points."

Watson on how important it would be to record back-to-back wins…
“That’s been brought up and I think it’s as good a time as any. We’ve both had the same amount of rest and the lads have done very little physical work over the last couple of days, although obviously we’ve done the work on how we think Middlesbrough are going to play. We’re going to do a little bit of work up there on Tuesday morning and the lads should hopefully be ready to burst out the blocks."

Watson on Tom Thorpe’s performance in his first game back…
“He looked solid and we were delighted with him. Obviously playing alongside Robbo (Paul Robinson) probably helped, because he’s a very good talker and a terrific leader." 

Watson’ thoughts on Middlesbrough…
“We’re well aware of how good a team they are. They’ve had some good results. On Sunday we watched the game they played against Derby, and they are a very, very good side. They are pushing for promotion and Middlesbrough played really well against them. They are comfortable on the ball, they play a sort of calm tempo on the ball but they have players who can hurt you with pace as well, at the top end. They have got some clever players. Teams in that position go out there with a relaxed attitude and can play great football. But we are there to disrupt them, we are there to run all over them and hopefully get the points we need.”

Watson on collecting points as quickly as possible…
“The target is to get mathematically safe, but we are looking at Middlesbrough first and getting points there. We’ve got another away game, so that’s three away games in a row. And if it all goes well we could be going into the next home game relatively safe and maybe that will relax the lads enough to produce that all important winning feeling at home again.”

Blues team news...
Blues have no fresh injury concerns following Saturday’s trip to Doncaster. Mitch Hancox (ankle), Matt Green (knee) and Neal Eardley (knee) remain out.  
Betting...
If you want to place a bet on the game, use Sky Bet and they will give a share of the revenue back to Blues. Plus sign-up now and get a free matched bet up to £30. Just click here. Looking to tonight’s game, a Blues win is priced at 16/5, the draw at 5/2 and a Middlesbrough victory at 17/20. 

Tickets...
The club has been supplied with an initial allocation of 1,187 reserved seated tickets for this fixture, located in East Stand Visitors’ Block. There are cash turnstiles available on the night of the game at the Riverside Stadium. For prices, click here.

Stat pack...
• There have been a total of 106 league and cup meetings between Middlesbrough and Blues. Blues have won 44 of those games, 32 have been drawn and Boro have tasted victory in 30.
• Blues’ last win was a 1-0 success at the Riverside in March 2013. Nikola Zigic scored the only goal in the Championship encounter in the 81st minute.
• The corresponding fixture at St. Andrew’s in December ended in a 2-2 deadlock. Mustapha Carayol and Daniel Ayala scored the goals for Boro, with Paul Caddis and Kyle Bartley on target for Blues.
• Blues’ biggest win away at Middlesbrough was a 5-2 victory in the old second Division in April 1955.
• Blues are unbeaten in their last four games against Middlesbrough, with three wins and a draw to their name.
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