Emmanuel Ledesma started against Sheff Wed at home, arguably his best game in a Boro shirt. He was lively, his range of passing was superb, playing some delightful through balls, one set up Justin Hoyte to score a beauty! Another set up Scott McDonald who tucked a low shot under Kirkland, Miller was taking no chances and pounced to make sure it went over the line to claim the goal. Two assists for Ledesma and his all round play was brilliant going forward and racing back into tackles to win possession back. The midfielder hasn’t started or featured much since the opening day v Barnsley, where he was frustrating to watch giving the ball away cheaply. Since then I think there has been great management by Tony Mowbray making Ledesma watch from the sidelines and learn the way we are playing. Since his recall his all round game has been very impressive, more of these performances and he will be a fans favourite.
What a great Friday night it was at Riverside against Sheffield Wednesday the build up to game was so much better with a big crowd, a packed train to Middlesbrough I could hardly hear the BBC Tees commentary! You sensed the buzz in the town, even more so when got in the ground a big attendance makes such a difference, it looks amazing and the noise generated makes the match day experience a million times better. The club reacted after we hit our lowest league attendance at Riverside against Derby 13,377. Well done to the club for putting the deal on which was half price tickets starting from £12 + £7. To get 28,229 for a game that was Live on SKY surprised me to be honest, fair play to the local public the Riverside was bouncing like them big nights in Europe. In the game we won to go top of the league great for everyone involved with club. Let’s hope this is the start of something special. I was a proud season ticket holder on Friday night. We can achieve so much more as a club together!
After Friday’s ticket sales success v Sheff Wed, the club announced a 2nd deal – 2 for 1! This means if you buy a ticket for the Bristol City game you get the Huddersfield game free. Another great deal by the club, at a time when there is not a lot of money on Teesside and with Christmas round the corner. I always said it is hard for walk up fans to afford 2 home games in a week and so they are more likely to pick one. I’m expecting another bumper crowd at the Riverside for these 2 games hopefully some fans that were at the Sheff Wed game come back. We are in great form at moment and the more fans the better to help drive the team on. If we build on Sheffield Wed game keep spreading the word on the Boro, this could be a special season to follow Tony Mowbray Red and White Army!
Unbeaten Run comes to an end
The run had to end sometime but to end how it did on Saturday away at Cardiff was gutting. Cardiff took the lead from their first corner of the game, an unmarked Matthew Connolly heading in from the back post. A frustrating goal to give away yet the reaction and performance from going behind deserved something from the game. We battered them 2nd half with plenty of really good chances to get back in the game, it was one of them days our finishing let us down. On another day we would have won comfortably. The performance was very encouraging and one we can take heart from for the rest of the season. It has been a fantastic run which has seen Tony Mowbray deservedly win the Manager of Month award for October with 1 draw v Derby, 4 wins against Watford, Brighton, Hull, Bolton and not forgetting our fantastic cup win at Sunderland in the league cup! After the cup win at Sunderland we went to Charlton and won comfortably 4-1 our highest score so far this season. Following that a trip to the City Ground where we don’t have a good record getting a point after not playing brilliant it was a gritty, determined display which limited Forest to a few chances. A pleasing point on our travels and one we may look back as having been valuable at the end season. Now we have 2 games at home to start another unbeaten run. Come on Boro!
The Return of Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates will be returning to the Riverside this Saturday after joining Bristol City late last week. Matthew played his first game for Bristol City at weekend v Blackpool his first competitive game since doing his 5th Knee cruciate ligament injury last March away at Ipswich. To come back from 1 or 2 serious knee injuries shows great determination/character but to come back from 5 major setbacks fair play to the lad like Mogga says he made of the real stuff! I hope Matthew gets a good reception from the Boro fans he was key player for us last season and always give 100%. Since he got injured a lot of things have changed at theclub we have brought in Bikey and Woodgate. From being our captain last season Matthew was always going to be well down the pecking order and in order to be guaranteed first team football I think he made the right decision. I wish him well with Bristol City after Saturday of course!