It seems that for most of this season I’ve been banging on about the lack of consistency that has been the most irritating thing about ‘Boro’s performances and I’m writing this after yet another example of that frustration.
A completely lack lustre performance that meant we never looked like getting anything from the Cardiff trip was followed by an efficient and easy win over Hull and despite the huge gulf between Cardiff and Hull this season it demonstrated that ‘Boro simply don’t perform against the better sides.
Results to date show that of the seven teams currently above us in the table the only one we’ve managed to beat is Sheffield United and they are the team immediately above us in seventh. Of the rest we’ve lost once to Wolves, Villa, Fulham, Derby and Bristol City and twice to Cardiff.
The other two games (against Fulham and Villa) were both draws. That means from a possible 30 points available from those seven teams we have managed just five points. I suppose that does show some kind of consistency but it’s certainly not the kind we crave.
Fortunately we now have a chance of climbing into the play-offs because our next five games are all against teams currently below us in the table and if we can maintain our success rate against the lower positioned sides we could well bridge the gap into the top six.
But, and it’s obviously a big but, that means we must now show the consistency to win a few in a row and we haven’t been able to do that all season. We also really do need to start turning up against those conceived ‘better’ sides.
In order to achieve that it is to be hoped that we can continue to rely on the wonderful run of form that has been shown by Adama Traore over the past few weeks.
If he can maintain those excellent performances – his great speed, superb footwork and the end product many thought him incapable of producing were the catalyst behind both Rudy Gestede’s goals against Hull – then we could yet end up the season vying for a return to the premiership.
If he can keep it up for the rest of the season, of course, it could well be a double edged sword because while it can only be great for us to be able to watch him running at opposing defences as if they weren’t there, it will also inevitably lead to some huge offers for his services over the summer.
It’s hard to see Steve Gibson turning down thirty million or so because that is surely what he must be worth now when you compare him to some of the ludicrous amounts of money clubs spent in January.
The good news is that despite the lack of consistency we are still only two points behind the play-off places so we have to have the belief that we can now start to produce against all levels of opposition. Do that and it could still be a great finish in May!