Q&A With Middlesbrough

Ahead of the 122nd meeting between Bolton and Middlesbrough on Tuesday, we have got the views of a Boro supporter.

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest on Saturday, while Boro were beaten 1-0 at Leeds United on the same afternoon.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken to Stuart Young (@Lendinho). Stuart is a 27-year-old Boro supporter and editor of supporters' website Boro Brick Road. He lists Juninho as his favourite all-time player, while victory over Wanderers in the 2004 League Cup final goes down as his best moment following the club.

Ahead of Tuesday's game, Stuart shares his views on the management style of Aitor Karanka, the impact South American players had during their successful Premier League days and why opposition fans still worry about the threat of the misfiring Jermaine Beckford.

Q: Now that Aitor Karanka has settled in at Boro, what are your aspirations for this season?

A: We've seen a lot of players leave the club over the summer to make room for ones that will fit the style of play Karanka wants Boro to implement.

The new players that have come in look solid, which is great news, and I'm hopeful that Karanka has not yet finished in the transfer market.

Q: Boro were famed for South American quality play and players during their stay in the Premier League. How does the current squad play under Karanka?

A: The flair in a Boro team has been non-existent since the days of Juninho. It's a hard task to emulate someone that special.

Stewart Downing and Adam Johnson were the closest to that, in the early part of their careers, but the game has changed so much since then and it's not about beating your man with skill - it's much more robotic than that these days. Possession is key and, ultimately, what you do with that possession will determine results in this league.

There is no doubt that Karanka has a clever footballing brain so, as fans, we need to stay patient as he builds this team.

Q: Which match this season are the Boro fans looking forward to most, and why?

A: February 21, 2015, is our biggest game of the season - Leeds United, at home.

It's always a big game against them, even though they are 3rd in the pecking order - behind Sunderland and Newcastle United, respectively.

We were robbed on Saturday at Elland Road, so the return fixture just got a little bigger!

Q: Who do you expect to be in contention for your Player of the Year award, this season?

A: I've got my eye on four players that could potentially get the Player of the Season award at Boro.

George Friend and Grant Leadbitter for their consistency, Albert Adomah for his pace and our new Spanish striker, Kike, for his movement around the box.

It will be an exciting season watching these lads and the other players do their bit.

Q: After a summer of change at Bolton, are there any players who you think Boro should be worried about?

A: I think I said last season that Boro should be careful of Jermaine Beckford. He's a dangerous player in the box.

He didn't start your last game but I wouldn't be surprised if he featured tonight.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Tuesday's game?

A: Bolton still have an unbeaten home record to keep up, so I think you will be tight at the back - especially knowing that we keep the ball so well.

I'm not sure if Karanka will make a couple of changes to the side that lost at Leeds, but, if he does, I do expect Kike to be our danger man.

I'll go for a 1-1 draw.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Stuart for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @borobrickroad & @Lendinho.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Peterborough United 2 6
2 Exeter City 2 4
3 Bolton Wanderers 2 4
4 Sheffield Wednesday 2 4
5 Accrington Stanley 2 4
View Full Standings >>


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5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
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1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston