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Middlesbrough Fans Verdict: Loyal Royals Frustrated By Poor Result

As ever, Harry rounds up the best bits of the fans’ reaction after Saturday’s loss to Boro. Or shall we say worst bits?

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Tuesday night’s Fans Verdict was a joy to write, with Lucas Joao earning praise and a Michael Morrison wonder goal stealing all the headlines, but it’s a sign of how topsy-turvy this league is - as if we ever needed one - that I’m pretty sure writing this one will be pretty much the exact experience.

We just never, ever got going against Boro, with Pauno stating that even the warm-up was lacking the usual intensity - and when that happens, you’re always going to have an uphill task on your hands.

Every game and challenge is tough in this league, but arguably none are tougher than going a goal behind to a Neil Warnock team. Warnock’s sides have and will always be the same: direct, tough and streetwise. And, disappointingly, we didn’t have any answer to that on Saturday.

The gap is closing between ourselves and the teams below us, and this is the perfect stage of the season to build a run of wins. Pauno will be hoping that can happen, the fans certainly are...

Criticism for Pauno

Pauno came under for a fair bit of flack last Saturday due to a couple of tactical decisions, in particular the one that saw Holmes come off at 1-0 up for Andy Yiadom. Again, on Saturday, the fans pointed out a few mistakes that they think Pauno made. After Tuesday’s win against Bristol City, it did seem odd to play all three of Laurent, Rino and Semedo - not that I’m sure which way round they were all playing.

Pauno deserves all the credit in the world for what he’s done to our club this season, but here’s what the fans had to say about his decisions against Boro...

Top six hopes

Two weeks ago the top six was nailed down according to pundits and social media. Nothing’s ever nailed down in this division. We’re going through a bit of a rough patch at the minute, and if we’re not careful we’ll lose that top six position that’s looked so safe and secure for so long.

With Barnsley and Cardiff hitting form now too, it’s getting to squeaky bum time, and the fans are fearful that a top-six spot might not be ours for much longer...

Reaction needed

The next few games are, on paper, winnable games for us. I bloody hate using that term in the Championship because it doesn’t exist, but if we’re serious about finishing in the top six, we need to win these games.

We are now entering the defining run of matches for our season. It’s completely up to the players how it goes, but strap in Loyal Royals because it'll be an emotional rollercoaster. We need a reaction, and it feels like I’ve been saying that far too often recently...

Conclusion

It’s up to the players, we have all the quality in the world and more than enough to finish in the top six. In this league though you get exactly what you deserve and we have to start putting a run of two or three wins together.

If we let this slip now it’ll heartbreaking. But we keep the faith.

URZ