Tony Pulis has shown Middlesbrough fans

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Tony Pulis has shown Middlesbrough fans

Postby Forever Blue » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:53 am

Tony Pulis has shown Middlesbrough fans his protective ways ahead of meeting with Neil Warnock - Eric Paylor -

Gazette Live

Tuesday 13th February 2018

It’s a massive step-up from playing ragged Reading to tackling Warnock’s Welsh workhorses.

But Boro can finally ignite the season if they can avoid defeat at the City of Cardiff Stadium.

The Cardiff trip is followed by half a dozen fixtures which arguably present Boro with a great chance of putting together an unbeaten run.

Hull, Sunderland, Leeds, Birmingham, Barnsley and Brentford follow in quick succession.

The new-found belief gained from winning most of these fixtures could lay the foundations for a positive push for a play-off place.

So Boro must dig deep on Saturday and draw on every bit of the confidence which victory against the Royals has given them.

Boro managed to make themselves look rather ordinary in the second half against Reading but are potentially a better side than they indicated.

The gradual switch to an increasingly defensive line-up invited pressure from Reading.

However this is probably what we will see in future from Tony Pulis when the points are within Boro’s grasp: protect what you have and don’t take any unnecessary risks. It worked against the Royals.

While Boro should go to Cardiff with increased belief, there is still the ongoing problem to solve – how do you get the best out of the trio of strikers?

All three work hard, but as they haven’t scored a single goal between them in 2018 then personal esteem levels cannot be as high as they might be.

Rudy Gestede remains the best choice for the target man role which Pulis likes. It’s a pity that the ball rarely sticks to his feet when it is knocked forward.

Patrick Bamford gets in goalscoring positions but will still be rueing that gilt-edged missed opportunity which could have reignited him.

And poor Britt Assombalonga must be wondering how on earth he is going to get back on the goals trail after making a hash of that penalty.

Yet all three have scored goals at crucial times in the past.

A goalscoring touch is not something which any striker should lose. Unfortunately it’s a double-edged sword because goals create confidence, yet confidence is needed to create goals.

Naturally Pulis does not look for only his strikers to score goals. On the other hand it will help considerably if the front men are weighing in with their share.

In Warnock and Pulis we have two wily managers coming head to head on Saturday. In confidence terms, Warnock’s men have an early advantage.

But just think Boro, what the future might hold, if you get a result at the weekend.
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Tony Pulis has shown Middlesbrough fans


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