Boro Player spoke to manager Gary Smith ahead of Saturday’s game at home to promotion-chasing Sheffield United, and he described a game that everyone looks forward to.
Speaking on Thursday, Smith told us, “I think these are the games that everyone looks forward to, there is no doubt that there will be a good crowd, a terrific atmosphere and if ever there is a game that is going to get the players on the front foot and really looking forward to a game then it’s going to be this one.”
The last time the teams met the Blades ran out 4-1 winners at Bramall Lane and despite going in 1-1 at the break the home side always looked in control.
Reflecting on the last time he went up against Danny Wilson Smith continued, “At their place they were dominating. The 4-1 score line didn’t flatter the way that they played and they thoroughly deserved their victory. Of course, it is our opportunity now to try and not only get some points on the board but to turn the tables a little bit.
“Sheffield will be looking for another opportunity to add to their claim to be not only promotion candidates but I would suspect, looking for the championship They’re my bet for League One champions, I think they have all the credentials that really go into being champions: lots of experience, some very good individuals and a manager that has been in this position before. They’ll want to try and lay that ghost to rest from last year. It’s a tough game but another opportunity for us to try and reach what I believe needs to be a 52-point watershed to get safe, that’s got to be our first and upper most thought at this point and then to re-evaluate.”
Boro were defeated by a single goal on Tuesday evening against a Bournemouth side with a far superior budget in this division; Sheffield United are another one of those sides but having proved in the week that only slim lines can separate the sides Smith feels a positive result is there to be had.
He told Boro Player, “The Bournemouth group is a very strong one, the resources they have, likewise Sheffield, are of course far exceeding what we are capable of and that is mainly due to the support that they have in terms of numbers. That is very difficult to overturn. But I thought on Tuesday night we gave a very good account of ourselves, we’re missing 6 or 7 first choice players and that is difficult to absorb but come the weekend we’ll one or two of those bodies back and there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t compete with these teams at our place.”
It is due to be a big crowd this weekend, not least because the away side are close to selling out the away end, and in a rallying cry to the fans Smith said, “there is no doubt that their positivity is reflected in our play. Of course there are frustrations, players, fans and myself, you can feel it when the results are not going your way but I would certainly urge everybody to stay as positive as possible. There is no doubt that it helps, it’s the difference between the players getting on the front foot and feeling as though, with some negativity in the air, that they should take a backwards step. It can be the difference between getting the result and not and at this point in the season getting a result is what we all want and the direction we want to be going in.”
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