Attacking flair is the key to our success.

In our opening 5 league games of the season, I have enjoyed our more adventurous, creative, entertaining approach and mentality.
The only game we faltered, stuttered and spluttered was against Preston, on the day we were awful it was like watching a performance under Strachan or A K. One shot on target summed it up.
Despite being away from home for Wolves and Forest we had a go and created numerous chances, but unfortunately lacked the killer instinct.
Against newly promoted Sheffield United and Burton we showed our championship pedigree. There is no doubt that there are still teething problems. We are still looking for telepathy and players gelling. I have always said that you get an idea where we are heading after 12-14 games.
There are several players that I’m looking to produce and make a massive contribution to secure our status back into the top flight Britt Assombalonga our record signing is one of them. He scored two fine goals against Burton Albion. I have enjoyed his energy, attitude, directness, and positioning and I’m sure he will have a healthy goal tally come May. If I have one concern it’s his lack of composure when put in one on one positions against the goalkeeper, where he has time to think about what he is going to do. If you scan his goals at Forest and his two so far for Boro he looks an instinctive striker and that is an art and gift in itself. I have seen similarities to former Boro striker Massimo Maccarone where he has opted for power with his laces as opposed to accuracy. He has tried to burst the ball and the net instead of caressing it into the corners with the inside of his foot. In the course of this season, he will find himself in similar positions and when they come his way he has to be relaxed and composed, ruthless and clinical against the better teams as opportunities may be few and far between.
Adama Traore, we all know what his qualities are and what he is lacking. He is as quick as a Cheetah and has the trickery of a Monkey. These are qualities that defenders are petrified of but unfortunately, he lacks composure, vision and end product. It’s astonishing to think he has not scored a goal for Boro as yet and has only three assists to his credit.
I am hopeful the penny will drop this season and he excels.

Patrick Bamford started the season in good form and is unlucky not to have opened his goalscoring account. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. He is proven at this level and I’m expecting big things from him. He has a good touch, is comfortable in possession, can hold the ball up create and score goals. He just has to nail down a permanent position.
Stewart Downing looked a certainty to depart but lives to fight another day. I’m personally delighted he is staying despite a small section booing his introduction against Preston. I have always liked his style and his retention of the ball and enjoyed watching him score some great goals in the red shirt of Boro. Admittedly since his return, he has not set the heather alight but when you are working under a boring, defensive dictator coach like AK, is it any wonder he faltered? Which attacking minded player shone under AK’s leadership?
If Gary Monk can manage Stewart Downing he could be like a new signing.
And finally, I’m looking for Lewis Baker to make a big impression. He is technically good and possesses two good feet. His goal against Scunthorpe was what I class as a great goal. When he curled and caressed the ball with the inside of his left foot into the bottom right-hand corner, he knew exactly where it was going and I’m sure if he becomes a regular, there will be more goals to follow. He can pick a pass create and likes to play the ball forward against Preston he looked a shadow of the player in the wide position.

I would like to think that the style we have adopted from the off with attacking flair, intention, and mentality, that one or two defeats along the way and the odd boo’s from the supporters doesn’t disrupt our thinking.

I remember Bruce Rioch saying to us. “We are going to play our way out of this division and entertain, not kick our way out.”
We want to do it with style and with the squad, we have assembled I don’t see any reason why we cannot achieve it.

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