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This weekend we play Wolves. It is a must win. Boro v Bournemouth, Norwich v Forest and Watford v Ipswich. At this point we need to back Boro to win and go on and win the league so we have a shot at second. They also have to face both Watford and Norwich. They can do us a massive favor. We are still in this if we can win on Friday and then beat Watford when we face them. 

Putting that to one side. I have been very impressed with Albentosa. 3 league games and he has settled in very well. Looked solid against the two best teams in this league and was unlucky against Birmingham. He has room to improve and will do. He still has to adjust to our style of play and the Championship/English football. While his English (communication will improve). He is good and composed in the air. Very comfortable on the ball and a solid passer. The fact that we have seen him barley have to make a tackle should not go unnoticed. That is what you get from a superior defender. But when up against it, his approach has been impressive. He can slow down an attacking player and stab at the ball when they think he can't reach it. He also has been giving strikers a very tough time. He has physically thrown players about and not allowed them to boss him about. Like how Bamford turned Keogh last night. He has not only come into the side when our defense has been at it's worst for a long time. He has come into the side when our choices at CDM have been limited. 

This moves me on to Hanson. Again, he has faced the two best sides in the league. Been very impressive. He has got stuck in and put himself about. Hanson obviously did not want to get caught on the ball, so his play was at a tempo we have not seen before. Which is unfair to his ability. Because this lad can pass and is deadly at set pieces. As he settles in he will only get more confident. Not once has he been caught out like Omar (mostly) and Eustace used to get caught out. He has shown for me that he is ready for Championship football. He is one of about half a dozen in the U21 side that are ready for it. I am not saying they are all ready to start now and go on and win the league. But they are good enough to be called upon against 3/4 of the teams in this league. 

We are having a horrendous time with injuries. Martin, Bent and Thorne all soon to be back. With others like Buxton too. We are going to get considerably stronger in the next couple of weeks. Which is why people shouldn't be so doom and gloom. If it comes down to  the play offs again, so be it. I wouldn't want to face our squad over two legs when it's at it's full strength. 

Ince has clearly been effected by the Birmingham result. He needs some advice. He needs to return to his previous state of mind. But Lingard showed us from last night that he is ready to start. 


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It's difficult to be positive at the moment because the positives are potential positives not current. 

If Middlesborough run away with the league that would be ideal.

If we beat Wolves and Watford and then Watford lose to Ipswich and Boro we will over take them. Then the battle for 2nd will be very interesting. 


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