Good morning all. Tuesday`s result was hard to take after such a strong performance away from home. However, I was very proud of my football club in defeat. If we continue to play to that standard from now until the end of the season, there is a huge chance that we will find ourselves in the Premier League next season. If we play near that standard today, we are sure to blow Middlesbrough away.
Boro haven`t had the best of years in 2013. Whilst for long periods at the start of the season, it appeared they were certain to be in the promotion chase; a poor second-half has led them to drop into the category of also-rans. This is a team bereft of confidence, togetherness and fight. However, a surprise win against Forest last time out (which we are very happy about) may just change things for Tony Mowbray`s men. I am hoping that this is just an anomaly, and that they will return to type today.
I still haven`t forgiven them for the League Cup Final nine years ago. That should have been our trophy. Zenden and his penalty is a cruel, cruel memory. Even an eighth win at home on the spin won`t make up for it. It`ll help. It`ll help a lot.
Dougie is saying all the right things. He told the clubs official website:
“This weekend we`ve got a game against Middlesbrough that we can`t really afford to lose. We`re going to throw everything at it, though I don`t think a point would be the worst result in the world. Saying that, it`s a game we`re looking to win. When I first came here we maybe had too many draws, so in these last three games we`re going to have to open up a bit. We`re capable of doing that, scoring goals, and we`ve got a fantastic record at the Reebok recently. The lads are feeling very fit and strong and everything is there to suggest that we can go on and win these next three games”
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
We`ve started to pick up a few injuries now, which is worrying. Ngog is out after being stretchered off on Tuesday. We may have seen the last of Jay Spearing in a Bolton kit if we don`t make the playoffs, as he`s out for three weeks. We could do with getting Holden back now; however Vela, Prately and Medo were all superb midweek. Butterfield will be out if he knows what`s good for him.
Player to watch: Tom Eaves
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Tom Eaves has been banging the goals in this season in the lower leagues, for Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury respectively. Made his debut four days ago, and if you squint, you can see a young Kevin Davies. Let`s hope he comes off the bench and blows our minds.
Middlesbrough Team News:
Jonathan Woodgate is out injured. Shocker.
Player to watch: Scott MacDonald
The Australian striker was a revelation at previous club Celtic, bit since crossing Hadrian`s Wall has failed to hit the heights that were expected of him. However, the magic is still in his boots somewhere, as we saw in the reserve fixture. He scored twice to see us lose 2-1. We should be prepared.
Match Facts & Stats
A loss today could see us four points from the playoffs with two games to go. Lose, and I would have to say that it truly is all over. A win for Bolton is Vital. It`s Vital, Bolton. VITAL Bolton. I`ll get my coat.
We will win this 2-0. They will write books on this victory. Probably not.
Cardiff Away next week, followed by Blackpool at home on 4 May. Two games against Watford, followed by beating Brighton on 27th. I booked my Wembley hotel weeks ago.