Mogga still under pressure despite chairmans backing.

ANY HOPES of the play-offs are over. You would have to be deluded to think otherwise.
But that doesn’t mean the season is over and Boro can get the deckchairs out. No way!
Boro have five games left – and three at home – and it is crucial Boro make a decent fist of them. These games are huge.
You really can’t stress enough exactly how important it is for the team to finish with a flourish to salvage some professional pride and self-respect.
They will all know they have been woeful this year and that the team’s results and, with very few exceptions, individuals performances have been totally unacceptable.
Eight points from 48 is rank bad. They should all be embarrassed. They should all be busting a gut to put it right, to prove that they care and they deserve to wear the shirt.
It is important for the club to sell season tickets too. Fans are pig sick of the nosedive and are thinking about whether to renew next year so it is crucial they are reminded what it feels like to walk away from the Riverside buzzing after a win having been entertained.
And it is massively important for Tony Mowbray too that his side have a bright finish.
It will give Mogga something positive to build on as he starts looking at how and where he can improve next season.
It may restore some of his own dented pride because believe me, Mogga will be hurting over the way his team have collapsed since the New Year.
He will be frustrated and angry over the slide. He won’t be getting much sleep at night.
And most importantly, a good finish may get fans back on board and they may buy the idea that the last few months have been a blip and underneath the debris there is still the basis of a good team.
Because right now, from where I am sitting, a lot of fans are starting to lose faith in Mogga and in the entire club.
A lot of callers to the Legends, diehard Boro fans who have been through it all, are losing heart in Mogga’s ability to turn out a team to win games.
People understand there is no money at the club – you would have to be blind not to see that with the players we’ve brought in – but they don’t understand his selections, formations, the chopping and changing every week and the cautious tactics.
And most of all they don’t understand how such a great leader in a Boro shirt seems not to be able to motivate.
I had pals who went to the Hull game saying there was widespread moaning among Boro fans and that they were chanting: ‘It is what it is’.
Fans have picked up on that phrase and it annoys them because they don’t know what it means – or they do, it means: “It is what it is: it’s garbage.”
Stop saying it in interviews, especially if Boro have lost because it has become a joke, a burden, just like when McClaren got ridiculed for saying we were ‘magnificent’ after Boro had just been gubbed.
Now, I like Mogga and I want to see him succeed here but the pressure on him is mounting with every game Boro lose.
If we carry on this winless run in the last five and go into summer with three months to fester, I fear the worse.
The club big-wigs may say he isn’t under pressure but he is. Of course he is. Losing games brings pressure. Falling crowds bring pressure. Those thing have forced Steve Gibson to get shot of his last two men.
If we finish with five more poor results then something has got give, whether it is Gibson’s loyalty, Mogga’s self-respect or the crowd’s patience.
No one wants that. We need to go into summer with a bit of brightness, a little bit of hope. That means winning games – especially home games.
For me, these five games are as important as any five all year.
THERE’S been a lot of talk about a big summer clearout and starting from scratch.
I’d welcome that. There are not many who I would be desperate to keep at the club.
The rest have been disappointing. While there has been a lot of chopping and changing, very few have grabbed games by the throat and made the shirt their own when they have been given the chance.
Look through the team and there are big problems in every department: we leak too many, we don’t score enough and we get swamped in midfield.
And yes, that is a result of being a club with no money. We have gone from feast to famine and from kings to pauper is no time. That is what you get when you are shopping for players from the bargain bin and the slight seconds shelf.
There are very few of the first team squad I’d definitely keep – and most of those other clubs will want anyway so we may struggle to do that anyway.
At the back I’d keep Jason Steele, he’s been our best this year; Justin Hoyte, I’m not his biggest fan but he’s done well; Rhys Williams, but only as a central defender and George Friend, who showed in flashes he can do it.
In midfield there is the reliable Grant Leadbitter, then kids like Adam Reach, Richie Smallwood, Luke Williams and Mustapha Carayol, who we haven’t seen a lot of. I’d try to keep Nicky Bailey who’s a battler with the right attitude but he’s out of contract and we can’t afford what he is on.
And up front I’d keep Scott McDonald, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Curtis Main.
The rest haven’t done enough to earn a place in the team. They are either not good enough, not fit enough, not consistent or not bothered.
For me they could all go and I don’t think we’d miss them – and I don’t think any of them could really bang on Mogga’s door and complain about it.
The problem is not who we get rid of. Most of us would near enough agree with that list.
The problem is who we bring in. Who we can afford that is better. That’s the real test of Boro’s intentions next year.
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With thanks to Evening Gazette.

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