With their run of form in the last 10 games Tony Pulis has seen his team stay in an around the play-off places despite losses to close rivals Sheffield United and Wolves.
Boro did however bounce back nicely in their last game where they beat fellow play-off contenders Bristol City 2-1 at the Riverside after a loss to Sheffield United, but with another key game against yet another play-off rival in Derby County away at Pride Park looming, there is no let up for Pulis’ team.
The Teeside club’s record over the past 10 games has seen them win 5, draw 3 and lose only 2 games which is a recent return but form they will likely need to improve upon over the last 3 games of the season if they want to beat out all the other teams and claim a coveted spot in the top 6.
Preston North End, Sheffield United, Brentford, Bristol City and Millwall who Boro play next after Derby County all have a chance of making it into the top 6 to claim a play-off berth so the stakes could not be higher for Boro who if they win all 3 games will see them finish top 6 no matter what other results occur.
Speaking ahead of the Derby game against Gary Rowett’s rams outfit, Tony Pulis had this to say:
“For what we talk about, we want the lads to turn up, roll their sleeves up and play the way they play. They need to work as hard as they have been for me most of the time and we need them to perform, they know the score.
“I am not trying to hide anything. The next game is the biggest game. We have had a long season, it’s the business time now and let’s get down and get the business done.
“We know we have got these three games left, during an opportunity we have been faced with where we play three of the teams in the top ten over the final four games.
“We can eradicate all of our problems against the better sides in the division during this run by finishing in the top six and we started well on Saturday (against Bristol City).”
The Boro manager went on to say:
“I have enjoyed coming into new surroundings and looking for things we can improve on since I came here, take forward, I have enjoyed it.
“There are good things here, a few uplifts needed here and there too. It’s a good football club. Given time hopefully we can put things in place to really push things on.”
So pushing on must surely start with a win away at Derby this weekend but with the fitness of Patrick Bamford in question it will be interesting to see who Pulis selects to step in for the unfortunate Bamford who has bagged 8 goals in his past 10 games leading the attack in impressive fashion after a slow start to the campaign.
This is the time of year when squad depth comes in to play so hopefully Boro have the resources to secure their place in the play-offs as one of the teams to grab one of the last 2 spots available.