Big weekend for under-pressure Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough squad as striker linked with summer exit

Under-pressure Tony Pulis will be desperate to end Middlesbrough’s five-game losing run when they travel to mid-table Swansea City - and  kick-start their fading play-off hopes.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 4:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 4:54 pm
Under-pressure Tony Pulis faces a big weekend with Middlesbrough.
Under-pressure Tony Pulis faces a big weekend with Middlesbrough.

Pulis is coming under increasing pressure from the Boro support following a dreadful run of form that has seen the club drop out of the Championship play-off spots.

Boro, in eighth and two points adrift of Aston Villa in the final play-off spot, travel to Swansea on Saturday (KO 3pm).

The pressure is building on Pulis and Boro, and the Teessiders need a result to breathe fresh life into their promotion hopes.

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Ahead of the game, there is fresh summer interest in striker Britt Assombalonga with Bristol City boss Lee Johnson reported to be considering rekindling his interest.

The Robins were one of the clubs linked with a move for Boro’s top scorer in the January window. Championship rivals Blackburn and Villa the others.

Bristol’s interest will likely depend on what league they are in next season with Johnson’s side currently fifth. Ironically, Boro’s latest defeat was against Bristol City and Pulis is looking for a response this weekend.

Pulis said: “We need a break. You can’t fault the players, you can’t fault their efforts. We’ve got to keep positive, we’ve got to keep going.”

Meanwhile, Boro’s clash away at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night will now go ahead as planned - despite concerns over the fixture.

Wanderers, who are still facing the threat of administration in the long-term, had been issued with a prohibition notice by the local safety advisory group - meaning they would not be allowed to welcome spectators to the University of Bolton Stadium until adequate measures to ensure supporter safety were put in place.

That mean that Bolton’s home clashes with Ipswich and Boro were placed under serious doubt.

However, after a meeting of the safety advisory group yesterday evening, it was determined that the North West side would be able to hold the fixtures as planned.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “We are pleased that a resolution has been found and that the games will now take place as scheduled.

“I would like to thank the members of the Safety Advisory Group for helping bring this matter to a positive conclusion.” Such news could prove a positive for Boro, who will be keen to avoid further fixture congestion.