* The "One Last Chance!" Boro v Bluebirds Match Day Thread *


Well-known member
We Need To Win Tonight - or its over!
Come On Boro!✊

W20 Navvi.jpg

We`ve ran out of options.
No point wondering "what if".
Even Chris Wilder said this is it [!] - so tonight is a must.
Chuck bodies, limbs, legs, arms and anything else at the ball!
Get more of them in the net than Cardiff!
We are all in this together - so get on with it lads!


League Position - Season Trend 21/22:



Boro v Cardiff Record:
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Match Preview:
By Darren Plant, Senior Reporter

Middlesbrough play host to Cardiff City on Wednesday evening looking for the victory which will move them to within two points of the Championship playoff spots.
At a time when the home side are on a five-match winless streak, Cardiff have suffered three successive defeats to leave them in 19th position in the standings.

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder applauds fans after the match on February 26, 2022
© Reuters
At the start of April, everything appeared set up for Middlesbrough to secure a top-six spot, regardless of the level of opposition that they were due to face in a short amount of time.

However, just two points have been collected from a five-game period, the only goal being netted during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Swansea City.
In isolation, a point at the improving Swans will not be regarded as a bad result, but Boro may now have to win their remaining three fixtures to finish in sixth position.

With Stoke and Preston North End to follow Wednesday's contest, the matches are in their favour, although it still feels like a tough ask given their issues in front of goal.

Constant rotation with the front two was supposed to keep players fresh, but it has only led to a lack of cohesion and rhythm since the four-goal salvo at Peterborough United on April 2.
Cardiff City manager Steve Morison reacts on February 6, 2022
© Reuters
Such was Cardiff's form not so long ago that the Bluebirds hierarchy felt comfortable in handing Steve Morison a contract until the end of next season.

While the 38-year-old has fared well in his first managerial position, Cardiff face the prospect of ending the season on a low note after posting three defeats in succession.

In total, four losses have come in five games, the only success coming at Reading, and it has left Morison with plenty to ponder ahead of the summer transfer market.

On a positive note, Cardiff end the season with winnable fixtures against Birmingham City and Derby County, providing them with the chance to still finish as high as 17th place.

However, three matches have now come and gone since the Welsh side have scored from open play, an obvious concern ahead of playing one of the division's best defences.

Middlesbrough Championship form:

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
Cardiff City Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Middlesbrough's Duncan Watmore with teammates celebrate after Matt Crooks scores their first goal on February 4, 2022
© Reuters
With Matt Crooks continuing to serve a suspension for 15 yellow cards, Wilder will give consideration to naming the same Boro XI.

However, based on his previous decisions, Andraz Sporar, Aaron Connolly and Folarin Balogun are all in contention for a recall in the final third.

Although Dael Fry is on the brink of recovering from a calf injury, the centre-back may not be risked until the weekend.

Despite defeat at Sheffield United on Saturday, Morison may not make many alterations to his Cardiff starting lineup.

Will Vaulks and Rubin Colwill appear most likely to be handed opportunities in midfield and a creative area respectively.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Daniels; Dijksteel, Bamba, McNair; Jones, Tavernier, Howson, Bola; McGree; Watmore, Balogun

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Phillips; Ng, Nelson, Denham; Drameh, Vaulks, Wintle, Bagan; Doyle; Colwill, Hugill
Red an White Shorts:

Middlesbrough cranked up the pressure on under-fire Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy as they inflicted a club record eighth straight defeat on the Bluebirds with a 2-0 win - an got McCarthy the sack!:love:

Chris Wilder doesnt believe in luck or superstitions.
Its not what we did!
Its what we do tonight!
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Cardiff on Boro:


Opposition Focus | Season so far

Our meeting with Middlesbrough is a crucial fixture in the story of Boro's season; to keep in with a chance of securing a Play-Off place, Chris Wilder's side will need to pick up three points against the Bluebirds.

Boro currently sit in ninth position in the Championship table with 64 points, five behind Sheffield United in sixth. A victory for Wilder's men in tonight's game-in-hand would see them climb above Millwall and Blackburn Rovers into seventh spot, leaving them two points behind the Blades with two matches to play.

Following a slow start to the season under former City boss Neil Warnock, Wilder's arrival at the Riverside has precipitated a turnaround in form for Boro, particularly over the winter months.

Middlesbrough enjoyed a seven-match unbeaten run from late November to mid January, which helped them to rise from mid-table obscurity into Play-Off contention.

Matt Crooks

Opposition Focus | Ones to Watch

One of Warnock's summer signings, Matt Crooks has been a key part of Boro's rise up the table in the second part of the season. The 28-year-old has chipped in with eight goals from midfield this term, including a matchwinning brace against Reading in a 2-1 victory. However, Crooks has missed the last two matches through injury, and may again be absent this evening.

Young winger Isiah Jones has broken through into the First Team fold at the Riverside this season, recording nine assists in an impressive debut campaign. The 22-year-old has also scored once for Boro, netting the only goal of the game to defeat Swansea City back in December.

Another key contributor has been Marcus Tavernier, who has chipped in with three goals and five assists this term. A versatile player, Tavernier has operated at central midfield, right back and right wing this season, and has played the full 90 minutes in 40 consecutive league fixtures, a run stretching back to late August.

Uche Ikpeazu

Club Connections | Bluebirds and Boro

One man who won't be in action this evening is striker Uche Ikpeazu, who joined the Bluebirds on loan from Boro in January, and is ineligible to face his parent club. The 27-year-old has scored three goals for City so far during his loan spell.

Ikpeazu is not the only player in the City squad with a connection to Middlesbrough; Aden Flint spent the 2018/19 season at the Riverside Stadium, completing a move from Bristol City. The centre-back moved to the Welsh capital in 2019, and could feature against his former side this evening.

Three former Bluebirds are on the books at Middlesbrough this season - Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier could be in line to make an appearance in tonight's fixture, though Sammy Ameobi is still yet to make his Boro debut due to a long-term injury.
Beyond Our Wilderest Dreams
Wilder face.jpg

"I expect us to really get after Cardiff and go and get the win"

Chris Wilder is in no doubt its up to the lads tonight - to pull their socks up and produce those "big moments". He told assembled journalists at his media conference on Tuesday, that the five forwards have to produce the goods. He said "Im not calling them out". The problem is obvious - "we can all see that" - they need to have that moment and play like "look at me". Wilder stressed - they dont need motivating - "they`re all professional footballers".

Basically he made it clear that footballers need to be the best they can - they are good at their job and thats why they are professions - particularly at this level. There was no room for being "unlucky" or "never mind" [sounded like a parody of a previous manager!?].

"Im a demanding manager"! Players have got to want to play, and play in every game. Hes never backwards in coming forwards in what he thinks about players who dont put in the effort! Pack yer bags [!] appears to be the message there!

Chris made a clear statement that he took responsibility for some of the failings this season - he didnt make any excuses - but he also stressed that the mentality of players is key to performances and where we end up in the league. Its about the team , the Management, the club and us fans all pulling in the same direction. There is no room to hide - it sounds like Chris Wilder has already made his mind uyp whose staying and whose going before summer starts.

As for the future - Chris wants players to fit his criteria, not fitting the team around the individual players. He acknowledged that he has two more seasons on his contract and "there is still a lot to be done".

There is no doubt that Wilder has to focus on the next three games - and will be deciding priorities afterwards [whether we end up in the play-offs or not]. Until its mathematically impossible - "we are still in the mix" he said.

We need every player to want to produce that "big moment" tonight.

"I expect us to really get after Cardiff and go and get the win".

Come on Boro!
Que sera sera. Not nervous at all. I’d be nervous if I thought we deserved to be up there but I fear that we are just a bit short. That said hope is always eternal.
If we finish in the top 6 after 46 games we deserve to be there. If we don't, then we don't.

It's likely that if we do finish top 6 we are likely to play forest over 2 legs. I would fancy us with spence not being able to play.

It's always que serra that much is true.
If we finish in the top 6 after 46 games we deserve to be there. If we don't, then we don't.

It's likely that if we do finish top 6 we are likely to play forest over 2 legs. I would fancy us with spence not being able to play.

It's always que serra that much is true.
May well be Bournemouth