Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and oneBoro
Established in 2007 as a source for the latest Boro news, next year will be the 10th anniversary of oneBoro. In that time, it’s grown to be a thriving Boro community with over half a million posts on the forum.
Middlesbrough have picked up one win in their last five games and sit 16th in the table, what is the current feeling like among fans given how it’s gone?
Before the Southampton game on Sunday, the general feeling among Boro fans was fairly optimistic. We picked up a vital three points against Hull City and had given a good account of ourselves against Leicester, Chelsea and Manchester City. However, we were hoping for a better performance in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Southampton — let’s hope it’s a one off.
Are fans of the opinion that Aitor Karanka is the man to keep Boro in the Premier League?
After Sunday, it would appear not. Some questionable decisions, late substitutions and bizarre lineups have made some fans lose their patience with Karanka. I still think he’s the one to keep us in the Premier League. He’s a stubborn, defensive-minded manager who has guided us to some fantastic performances against the likes of Arsenal, City and Bournemouth.
Two of Middlesbrough’s three league wins have come at home, is that something of a comfort as Liverpool make the trip to the North East?
Yes and no. Boro have a good record in evening fixtures at the Riverside, however most fans feel like we should be picking up more wins at home, having dropped unnecessary points against Watford and Crystal Palace.
Boro looked to have made some astute signings this summer, and had acquired the sort of quality that should keep them up, is that still believed to be the case?
After a shaky start and an early injury scare, Victor Valdes has settled into the Boro team. Alvaro Negredo is a love/hate character on Teesside. His contribution to the team outweighs his goal return — he’s played a part in six goals so far this season — but he can be described as lazy at times.
Alvaro Negredo and Christian Stuani are Middlesbrough’s joint top scorers this season, would they be considered the main threats ahead of the game?
I want to say no, which is slightly ironic. If fit, Gaston Ramirez would be Boro’s main threat, however having picked up a knock against Hull City it’s likely he’ll miss out. Adama Traore has been talked about a lot in the press recently and has shown his creativity when given the chance in the Middlesbrough team. With an end product, he could be the attacking spark Boro have been missing.
What have you made of the Reds, based on what you’ve seen this season?
I’ve been impressed with the way the players are adapting to Jürgen Klopp’s style. There’s obvious concerns with how many goals they are conceding and their ability to kill games off — obvious examples being West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton. That’s something that Karanka will have identified and be looking to exploit.
Where do you expect both sides to finish this season?
I’ve been saying this since gaining promotion back to the Premier League, that we need to have a season of stability and I’d take 17th place right away. We have to avoid relegation, if this means relying on our strong defensive record and nicking the odd goal here and there, that’ll do me.
I see Liverpool finishing third or fourth. The Christmas period will shape the table, so it’s a case of seeing how you bounce back from defeat at the Riverside…
Finally, can we have a score prediction?
These are the type of games we seem to thrive on. A strong Boro performance under the Riverside floodlights, silencing the Karanka critics. Boro 2-0.
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