Chris Hughton looks at the task ahead as we travel to Middlesbrough in the Barclays Premiership on Saturday.
Chris Hughton looks at the task ahead as we travel to Middlesbrough in the Barclays Premiership on Saturday.OUR GAMES against Middlesbrough generally aren't dull affairs, that’s for sure.
We’ve had big scorelines, last season was 3-3 and you always feel it’s going to be that type of game.
They will certainly be in confident mood after their performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, a very good 1-1 draw and they came close to winning it when you think of the late penalty appeal and a great save by Van der Sar from Viduka.
Looking at Middlesbrough, I’d start with the big two up front. Viduka and Yakubu are very good forwards and I always have the feeling with Middlesbrough that they have periods where they want to be solid at the back and in midfield but the reason they pick these two up front is that they can score goals out of nothing. Both are quality finishers and even on a bad day, they are capable of scoring or creating an opportunity.
In midfield you have Boateng, who is very much a warhorse in there, a leader for them. Rochemback, who played at United, has generally been employed in the wide areas and they have quality down the left flank with Downing, who is as good a crosser as anyone. On the right they have Cattermole and Morrison, impressive young players.
The centre-halves are Pogatetz, who is a tough individual and Woodgate, who many feel is back to his best and played well against us at White Hart Lane.
Every single game is a tough, tough game at this stage because all teams want to finish the season well, irrespective of if they are pushing for Europe, in the relegation zone or neither.
We are only concerned with our own objectives and we have to see this is as an opportunity to win a game and give ourselves a leg up over the teams around us. We want to go into the final three games in a good position – that starts at Middlesbrough.