Middlesbrough Lay Down a Marker

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Middlesbrough travelled down to lowly Millwall at the weekend high on confidence having put together an unbeaten run which started in October and has seen them rise up into play-off contention. The travelling Boro fans were not disappointed by their teams’ performance as they saw their side thrash Ian Holloway’s Lions 5-1, laying down a marker to the rest of the league to show that they mean business and that, after five seasons in the Championship, they are ready for a return to the big time.

Championship Round-Up

Next up for Middlesbrough are Derby County who also recorded an impressive 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday- you can get further details of this and a round-up of what happened this weekend in the English Championship at Blue Square. Middlesbrough may not have reached the play-offs in any of their last five Championship seasons but they are now just two points off first place Derby and they would overtake them with a win on Saturday.

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Vossen on Form

If Boro are to beat Derby, or at least keep their unbeaten run intact, then they will need striker Jelle Vossen to continue the form he showed against Millwall. The 25 year old had failed to score in his 12 previous appearances for Boro, but he ended his drought in style with a 23 minute hat-trick which, in truth he could have added to. The 5-1 score line did not flatter Middlesboro and the likes of Derby County should see it as a real marker of what Aitor Karanka’s team are capable of.

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Vossen in action for his parent club Genk- Image by:  rscanderlecht 

Boro Consolidation

As well as being ruthless in front of goal, Boro will need to be tight at the back if they are to take any points from Steve McClaren’s Rams. Derby have the second best scoring record in the league and average just less than two goals per game but they won’t find life easy against Boro, who have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last seven games. If Boro’s impressive run and their thrashing of Millwall are not to go to waste then they must consolidate their position by beating Derby County and showing that they are good enough to make a real push to win the Championship.

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