Boro need to keep battling on
Last Friday's 2-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers once again showed Middlesbrough that climbing this league is a lot harder in reality.
Some Boro fans had seen the previous week's 1-0 win over Cardiff as the kick-start to the season that the club desperately needed, only for Donny to nick a last minute winner.
Boro had started the game against Doncaster brightly with Scott McDonald scoring within four minutes following good work by Marvin Emnes. James Hayter equalised after 22 minutes before Brian Stock grabbed the 90th minute winner resigning Boro to their ninth away loss of the season. The loss highlighted the terrible away form Boro have endured this season, picking up only four points from 33 on their travels so far. The football odds indicate they'll need to improve this if they want to get anything from their season.
Tony Mowbray needs to get his players over the disappointment of the Doncaster game and focused on the upcoming hectic festive run. The next three games for Boro could be season defining for Mowbray with matches against promotion chasing Nottingham Forest and Leeds as well as fellow strugglers Preston. Although some people still make Notts Forest betting tips for promotion, Boro still have an excellent chance of beating them.
The competitive nature of this league means that Boro, despite being 21st in the league, are still only 13 points away from the play-off positions. A good run between now and the new near could put Boro in the promotion mix. Mowbray certainly has the quality of personnel capable of challenging the teams at the top of the table, he just needs to get this squad believing they can achieve things.
The club also need to do something to encourage fans back to the Riverside. An empty stadium isn't the biggest morale booster for a squad struggling with form and the supporters have a job to do in salvaging something from this season. Boro probably have a stronger squad than teams like Leeds or Norwich but those two clubs have the support of a packed out stadium week in week out.
The fans need to realise it isn't a case of them and us in regards to their team, to get out of their current situation is going to take a combined effort from all involved at the club.