CHRISTMAS for Middlesbrough fans usually ends with jokes involving the words ‘turkey’ and ‘stuffed’.
So as Barry Robson’s thunderbolt almost broke the net of Hull City’s goal with just three minutes to go, the Riverside erupted as if Boro had won promotion.
A bumper crowd of almost 28,000 lifted off the roof after a scrappy and disjointed game came to life at the death.
In truth, the Teessiders did little to deserve all three points and former Boro maestro Nicky Barmby was bitterly disappointed to see his team leave empty handed.
But four wins on the trot which, temporarily lifted the club into the automatic promotion places, is no fluke according to Boro boss Tony Mowbray.
“Whoever you play, you have to be in the game in the Championship,” explained Mogga.
“If you are below par any week, an opponent’s work rate and ethics will beat you.
“Every week we have to turn up, and with great credit to this group we mostly turn up at home and away.
“It would be nice to sit in the dugout and be three or four up sometime and enjoy the last half hour of a game.
“Yet, of course, the nature of the league shows that rarely happens. Every weekend there are four or five draws.
“That just shows how tight a league it is. It’s great for us that we have managed to win four on the bounce now.
“Within those wins we have had three 1-0s at home in a row where we were drawing at the beginning of the season. The tight, fine margins are falling our way at the moment.”
SEE Tuesday’s bumper SportMail for full story