The Final 9: First stop on the gold road to promotion
The gold road’s sure a long road, winds on through the hills for fifteen days.
Aitor Karanka’s men will be hoping for Fools Gold tonight as they kick off this mouth-watering month of football that stands in the way of automatic promotion or play-off lottery.
Tonight Middlesbrough come up against a rejuvenated QPR side under the management of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, the first of eight massive games taking place in April.
But everyone knows that gold’s just around the corner, and thanks to David Nugent’s vital injury-time winner against Hull last time out Boro have provided themselves with a platform to build on in the final hurdle.For two of Burnley, Brighton, Boro and Hull breakdown’s coming up round the bend with only nine games of the campaign left.
Coaches, players and fans will all be on edge as the end of the season draws near.That’s why with the last international break of the season over and done with, it’s time for everyone at the club to put any differences aside and focus on getting the job done.
Sometimes you have to try to get along, and this is most certainly one of those times.Now is a time where things look like they might be starting to fall back into place.
With Daniel Ayala back in the fold and likely to go straight into the starting eleven after his annual injury setback, Karanka has practically a full-squad to choose from, barring the usual suspects.
That and with two weeks without competitive action for most of the squad, aside from a routine friendly win over relegation threatened rivals Sunderland, there should be a fresh feel around the club after a distorted first quarter of 2016.
Following tonight’s game, three home matches in a row will provide Boro with a take it or leave it option. Win all three and promotion is there for the taking, but make a mess of it and the club will only have themselves to blame.