Onside: Boro fans can’t afford to turn against Steve Gibson

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IT’S the place where they all seem to hang out.

As soon as the final whistle blows on a Boro defeat, those die-hards who don’t tend to bother with games “anymore” clamber out of their cauldrons of doom eager to get to the closest phone and tap the keypad to call the phone-in.

Individual players have to duck to avoid the blame.

Mogga has asserted himself as their main target since the start of this admittedly shocking run of form, with many seeming to forget that just four months ago they would all have been queuing to write a chapter in a bible with the gaffer as the God.

But a select few callers seem to have found themselves a new target.

In the midst of the January transfer window and the late bid for Danny Graham - coinciding with the annual post-Christmas slump - there was a new “buzz” question.

Why didn’t Gibson back the boss with the funds to guarantee us a spot in the promised land?

Some blood-racing, heart-thumping callers, who I presume will have been following the Boro since the ‘dark days’ through to the light-headed moments at Cardiff, the unthinkable comebacks and the trip to Eindhoven, demanded Gibson did “the best for the club and walked”, that it was time for foreign investment.

One confident caller took his demands to the next level, and I quote: “I’ve heard Gibson doesn’t even want us to go up this year.”

Maybe that is why the chairman stumped up a cash plus player deal in a bid to bring Graham back in January.

Maybe that is why he threw all he could at Strachan who then proceeded to blow it like a footballers wife bounding down Linthorpe Road with a credit card fizzling a burning hole through her back pocket.

And maybe that is why figures, released this week, show that Gibson continues to pour £1m a month into the club he loves to save a financial meltdown similar to what is going on at the minute at Coventry.

If any more proof is needed, which it isn’t, that Gibson’s heart is still very much beating Boro, then take the £50m which was owed by the club to the chairman’s company and which he waived and converted into equity.

The number-crunchers released those figures in the same week the Venky’s got trigger-happy again down at Blackburn and sacked the third manager this season.

And the same week the Leeds United owners, GFH Capital, entered into talks to sell the club, just three months after storming in to take the reigns at Elland Road.

They come in the same season that the Al-Hasawi family, enjoying an extended break in Nottingham, sacked Sean O’Driscoll with the club sitting relatively pretty only just outside the play-off spots and were then joined in holy matrimony with the Big Eck for all of 40 days.

And despite the fact they’ve been long-term tenants at the top of the Championship, the figures come in the same season that the Malaysian owners at Cardiff decided it was best to tear the soul out of the club and make the Bluebirds play in red.

Sometimes you don’t realise what you have got until it’s gone.

So regardless of the result at Wolves next week, maybe those who question Gibson’s loyalty or fancy a right royal ripping session into the Boro on the phone-in should gently put their phones back on the table and breathe easily.

- Dominic Shaw