Monday, 29 April 2013

Middlesbrough 2 v Charlton Athletic 2

The miracle of a play-off finish ended on Saturday after we let a two goal lead slip at The Riverside and after Bolton and Forest picked up wins to close in on Palace. The point ends our decent away form this season of 9 wins, 8 draws and only 6 defeats. If we had matched that at home it would probably have secured us the play-offs. As it is, a victory over Bristol City on Saturday would see us round off our home form with 8-6-9, which would represent a good recovery from a worst-ever looking home record just five weeks ago.

More importantly, an unbeaten end to the season often sparks a fast start and that's what you need if we are going to improve next season and challenge. We obviously need to strengthen the side if we are to have any chance of that and more on that in a later post. What's clear today is that we will need to better Reading and QPR next season whose expensive squads will probably be added to as they try to bounce straight back. Wigan's luck may finally run out this evening too, when Villa play a safe Sunderland at Villa Park. 

At the other end of our table, Wolves looked doomed after losing at home to Burnley and those of us who saw them at the Valley last week won't be too surprised by that. Blackburn, also relegated with Wolves last year have saved their bacon from a second successive drop, so the warning is there for QPR and Reading. The third League One spot is there for Barnsley, Peterborough, Millwall or Sheffield Wednesday. Millwall and Wednesday have a point advantage and Millwall an extra game although it's at home to Palace tomorrow night.Squeaky-bum time at the New Den although I can't see both Barnsley and Peterborough winning away in their last matches at the weekend. Roll-on the close season.


Anonymous said...

Boro haven't played at Ayresome Park for nearly 20 years mate.
Nicely thought out research methinks, NOT...

Dave said...

Anon - oops, thanks. I have been to the Riverside too, although it was an entirely forgettable match, so maybe understandable. I have been to Ayresome Park too, which shows you that I am an old hit whose memory isn't what it was.

Tony said...

Judging by what has been printed in todays papers, it would appear that there is a divided team at QPR.
Reading will be a strong side next year, but QPR? They could quite easily go down the same path as Wolverhampton.