Middlesbrough rely on away form for visit to Birmingham

Boro manager Tony Mowbray shows his feelings as he watches his side lose against Leeds.
Boro manager Tony Mowbray shows his feelings as he watches his side lose against Leeds.

BOSS Tony Mowbray hopes Middlesbrough’s strong away form will crank up their promotion bandwagon after the disappointment of stalling in front of a national TV audience.

Boro’s fine run of form came to a shuddering halt last weekend when Leeds won 2-0 at the Riverside in the match televised by the BBC.

And while Boro have remained in the play-off spots, the result meant they failed to cut the gap on the top two.

But Mowbray’s side now approach a pivotal stage in the season with back-to-back away matches at promotion rivals Birmingham and West Ham.

First up is a trip to St Andrews against eighth-placed Birmingham who, such is the incredibly tight nature of the league, would over take Boro on points difference if they won tomorrow’s clash (kick-off 3pm).

Boro then head to West Ham, who are currently third, and a good haul of points over the four days could prove crucial to their chances.

Only the Hammers have a better away record in the Championship and Mowbray acknowledges his team have a good knack of winning points on their travels.

“It was a poor day for us against Leeds, but we have to bounce back,” he said.

“The personality of the side is such that the disappointment has hit the lads hard.

“But we’ll be going to Birmingham and do our very best to get the win.

“It’s never easy to go away from home and win in this division but the lads have done it on a fairly regular basis so there is no reason why we should fear these games.

“But we are going to big clubs with big crowds who, even if we manage to get in front, will egg on their teams in the last few minutes.”

Full story in Friday’s Mail