Not before time, against a surprisingly ineffective Reading team, Tony Pulis’ Boro side ended their three-match goal-less run at the Riverside in the league when they beat Jaap Stam’s Royals outfit 2-1 last Saturday.
The play of Reading is a mystery to everyone given how close they came to promotion last year but Boro were only too ready to take advantage of Stam’s side.
While the Middlesbrough boss had to be relieved to see the end of the scoring drought he was quick to point out the challenge they face against Neil Warnock’s surprising Cardiff City in their next match.
Tony Pulis had this to say on the trip to play Cardiff City in his homeland:
“Every game is different, we are playing Cardiff who are a good side. Look at the table, they are a consistent side, they have an identity and it will be tough.
“If we are creating chances, we will score goals. We could have scored five or six on Saturday, we scored two and that was enough, but the great thing is this team is producing decent football and producing opportunities.”
“The owners at Cardiff have backed Neil Warnock there, he has had decent money to spend, had a very good window to get the players they needed.
“It’s going back home for me really, south Wales so I like to see them all doing well. I will be doubly determined to win the game though.
“My job is to do my best for this club, while I am employed here that will be my main objective. I have got a couple of people coming through as well so hoping to do well.
“We have a lot of Middlesbrough fans going too. There is no question, they have been first class since I arrived. The away support has been fabulous.
“I would like to thank them, it costs money to go way and support them. The Boro fans have been fantastic, every ground I have been to they have been first class.”
Boro could be without Rudy Gestede who has struggled with a back problem since last weekend’s game against Reading and has not trained for two days but will be assessed closer to the game. The rest of the squad is fit and available for selection with new signings Mo Besic, Jack Harrison or Martin Cranie hoping to force their way into the team.
Middlesbrough seem to be on the move in terms of re-building but I think we can all recognise that while the play-offs this season are attainable, it might actually suit the club better if they played another year in the Championship and then returned to the Premier League that much stronger.