ONSIDE: All aboard Middlesbrough’s cup tour

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SO as expected, our short and hugely successful trip up the A19 proved to be a brief break from the Boro’s UK-wide Capital One Cup tour now set for new shores - Wales.

Take your mind back to August 2008 when a ‘star-studded’ Boro team, featuring Emanuel Pogatetz, Adam Johnson and Mido, battered lowly Yeovil 5-1 - incredibly the last time we played a league cup tie at home.

Since then the cup draw hasn’t been a case of who we will get drawn against but how far we will travel.

Dare I even say, excluding the quarter final match-up, baring in mind the inevitability of an away draw, this season has been kind to us.

Trips to Lancashire, Bury and Preston were split by an unkind draw to League Two high-fliers Gillingham before our comfortable journey - and victory - at shot-shy neighbours Sunderland.

In reality, Wednesday’s quarter-final draw consisted of four possibilities for the Boro: Swansea, Norwich, Chelsea or Arsenal away.

A trip to Leeds or Bradford would have been ideal, a home drawn unthinkable!

Thirteen consecutive away draws in the league cup is a record - but in the last eight, in footballing terms, it could have been worse.

I give us a chance at Swansea, they are far from unbeatable, especially if the 11 in red perform with the passion, and class, they did on Tuesday night at a shocked and muted Stadium of Light.

The Boro were superb.

We took the game to the hosts, grabbed a deserved opener and then, to be perfectly honest, showed no signs of letting the lead slip.

Ishmael Miller was as unorthodox as ever, but a constant thorn in the side of the run-ragged Carlos Cuellar and John O’Shea.

Grant Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey won the crucial midfield battle, allowing Faris Haroun, Emmanuel Ledesma and the revitalised Scott McDonald to buzz around in a fashion the Mackems never got to grip with.

And the back five were a collective rock - limiting the in-form Steven Fletcher to one half chance.

If we perform like that again at Swansea, we have more than half a chance.

Tony Mowbray has since spoke of the sympathy he has with the fans, who continue to tick off new grounds, at the prospect of the long journey to Swansea.

But for the 2,800 brilliant Boro followers at Sunderland, petrol prices and more hours on the motorway will be the least of their worries if Boro perform like that again in Wales.

And, if we do fire our way through another Premier League outfit, the UK league cup tour will come to a long awaited end.

All hail a two-legged semi-final which would guarantee us a home tie!

If our brave Capital One Cup journey comes to an end at Swansea, it’s a case of who we will get away from home in the first round next year.

I’ve never been to Plymouth.

- Dominic Shaw