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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Middlesbrough Preview

28 January 2022

The Sky Blues come up against a Middlesbrough side this weekend in a different position to what they were earlier in the season.

Back in September when City beat Boro, Neil Warnock was at the helm and the North East side were 15th in the Championship.

Fast forward a few months and Chris Wilder is the man in charge and Middlesbrough find themselves a place above the Sky Blues in the league, with two points separating the two sides.

Ahead of the trip this weekend, Mark Robins gave his thoughts on the task his side face when they kick-off at the Riverside Stadium come 3pm.

“Chris has gone in and sort of changed a little bit with the way they play so it will be slightly different then what we came up against earlier this season.” Robins said.

“They’re a bit more man for man than when we played against Neil’s Middlesbrough, they were very very difficult to play against then and that will be the case again.

“They press really heavily they have got some top-quality players. The three defenders at the back certainly in Paddy McNair, they have got a midfield player playing at the back who is really talented, Dael Fry as well with Dijksteel alongside him.

“They’ve also got some injuries, but they have still got a lot of players they bought this window, Balogun in from Arsenal, Connolly from Brighton and they haven’t seen him yet, but Riley McGree has gone in there as well who had been at Birmingham on loan from Charlotte.

“They are a confident side and the three midfield players that they use; Tavernier and Crooks as an eight is dangerous and has good quality as well.”

With Middlesbrough playing against Blackburn Rovers on Monday night and the Sky Blues not playing Stoke until Tuesday, it gave the Robins the chance to sit and watch Wilder’s men.

The Sky Blues boss was impressed with what he saw, but told how his side is confident heading up to Middlesbrough this weekend.

“It was a good game to watch I thought in terms of the Championship and what it stands for.

“We have got 20 games to go some teams have got less than that so we have that gap to close in terms of when the league stabilizes again with the same amount of games played.

“Then you can see where we are at but from our perspective the level of performance has to be high to get anything from the game and that doesn’t change really.

“We are going up there full of confidence and there is no reason not to, we can certainly maybe leapfrog a few teams including Middlesbrough going into the fixture so there’s plenty of scope there to be positive and motivation wise it’s all there.”

 


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