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Quite frankly, it not about who starts. AK makes those decisions. Its about attitude and strategy. Hey, surprise, surprise, AK is involved and influences those factors. He may of course take advice from the One Boro Forum. Who Knows !

 

We need to win this next game, no ifs, no buts, and no, I would not take a draw from this one. Its about getting goals, and its not about keeping a clean sheet, because we need to average two points on average per game ,from now on. You do not do that without scoring goals .

 

UTB. I have every confidence in Rhodes to score the goals we need. But anything less than a victory following the sunshine break is a cause for major concern, about the way this sqaud is managed.

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Dropping nsue wouldn't be huge surprise. He is hardly a stellar defender and his crossing leaves a lot to be desired. I thought he was pretty poor against Leeds getting caught out defensively and being really really bad at putting the ball into the box (apart from that disallowed goal). He gets up and down really good and links play great but his end product is pretty poor. Friends crossing also leaves a lot to be desired but at least he can defend well.

 

TBH I think he is the only player in this team who can actually cross a ball effectively

You have forgot about Downing,ramirez and de laet(already got an assist from a cross). This is a tougher match for me than most supporters seem to think,they already took 3 points off us and the 4-1 win over brighton was impressive, got a bad feeling another draw is on the cards.

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If Ayala isn't quite ready, the options are Fry, Kalas, Baptiste (if match fit) or moving George inside to CB, keeping De Laet and Nsue on the flanks.

 

If Ayala and Gibbo are out together, it's a huge blow. Especially against a team in the current form of Cardiff.

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Watching the Cardiff match yesterday I agree with others that they are not going to be push overs and they too will now believe they have a real chance to get into the top 6, in fact they looked pretty good and yes some of their goals were fortunate they still count and let's face it how often are lucky goals scored against us?

 

I said a little while ago that little by little and match by match that our position was being eroded and unless things changed soon that it would continue to the point that plays offs would be our only hope. Yes to some we have the comfort zone of games in hand but that does not guarantee points and if you do not win them then it only cements the truth.

 

I see we have a motivation thread, quite apt because as far as I am concerned, with the time away, that Boro looking at the situation through realistic eyes recognise that the below par and often only half the team performing comes to a shuddering halt and that it turns the corner on Tuesday.

 

Watch Derby now with that win that will boost their confidence no end and will allow another team to find some good form at the right time of the season adding pressure to those in and around us to continue their own form. Yes some will buckle a little ala Brighton but I suspect that the hardest two to dislodge will be Hull and Burnley.

 

I know others do not like the term "must win" due to how the term is viewed and as if that game determines what will follow but in our situation whereupon fate is in our own hands then to me this IS a must win game and probably at this time is THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE SEASON.........so far!

 

We need this as fans and the Boro need this as a team, hope has to be renewed

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Well said DS, agree with all above.

 

Can't wait till we've done these games in hand, so it gives us more realistic view of where we are. I feel people have been using it as 'don't worry we still have a couple of games in hand', which doesn't mean anything with our current form.

 

I've said before, the teams that hit form in March and April will be the ones that go up, just like last time. We need to stay in the hunt through February, and start to turn the screw in March, and get us in a good position for the final few games.

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I hate game in hands, it makes our position look a lot more comfortable than it is. They still need to be won.

 

Surely it makes our position look exactly what it is? If we get no points from the games in hand, we are still in the exact same position we are right now. It only makes it look more comfortable if you're assuming we'll get points from this games.

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I hate game in hands, it makes our position look a lot more comfortable than it is. They still need to be won.

 

Surely it makes our position look exactly what it is? If we get no points from the games in hand, we are still in the exact same position we are right now. It only makes it look more comfortable if you're assuming we'll get points from this games.

 

In reality yes but schrodinger's cat

 

Or is it? I'm not sure

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I hate game in hands, it makes our position look a lot more comfortable than it is. They still need to be won.

 

Surely it makes our position look exactly what it is? If we get no points from the games in hand, we are still in the exact same position we are right now. It only makes it look more comfortable if you're assuming we'll get points from this games.

 

Which is exactly what 95% of boro fans think, until recently, that the games are already won. I remember most people on here a few weeks backs saying we'll be 10 points, 8 points, or whatever clear once we've played our games in hand. I'd wager some of the players thought that to thus complacency sneaked in.

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If Downing is played in his preferred position, centre instead of wide left he needs to take control of the midfield, he has the skill and experience to dominate in this division just needs to start showing it a lot more.

 

Cardiff will be confident after their 4-1 win, but if we are at our best we take the 3 points, player for player we're a better side, that's not rose tinted glasses that's a fact.

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I think a lot will depend on the first 11 that's named. I can't be confident in a team missing Friend, Gibson, Ayala and Clayton. I wouldn't be confident in the team missing two of these.

 

This will probably be the type of game where we need Rhodes to payback part of that £9million. Really wouldn't be surprised with a draw

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