A Battling Point For A Battling Boro
That wasn’t all that bad, was it?
Coming off the back of a dismal display against Rotherham, few could be blamed for expecting a very different scoreline - and one that didn’t reflect well on Boro.
But in hindsight, this is the type of game that Neil Warnock sides thrive on, and Boro battled well to gain a deserved point.
Warnock named an interesting starting line-up, opting to deploy new loan signing Yannick Bolasie in a false nine role with Darnell Fisher also making his debut at right-back.
Bolasie struggled to make an impact on the game given how deep Boro were sitting in order to contain Norwich and nullify the threat they possess on and off the ball.
Fisher, on the other hand, was excellent. He followed Todd Cantwell like a shadow, channeling his inner Steve Baker to limit the playmaker to pot shots from outside the box.
It was the main feature of the game; sticking tight to players and not allowing them to dictate play as Norwich can. It was clearly the game plan, and Boro did it exceptionally well.
Howson and Morsy were industrial in the middle and Saville was captain shithouse throughout, even holding Cantwell’s hand at one point to stop him from joining an attack.
Special mention to Dael Fry as well - we missed him on Wednesday night, and today showed exactly how important he is at the heart of that defence.
Boro did have their fair share of opportunities, but nothing clear cut, which is perhaps the one small stain on the game.
Don Goodman mentioned on commentary that Boro are ‘one of the best in the league at springing forward’. That was a surprise to me. We’ve scored four from counter attacks, it’s far from our strong suit.
In a game where counter attacks and set pieces were paramount, the attacking output from Warnock’s side was generally quite poor.
Perhaps the game’s biggest talking point was Emi Buendia’s sending off.
The Argentine was initially booked for a late tackle on Howson, and then received his marching orders for another late challenge on Saville.
Had Bolasie not started the match, the winger would have been a perfect impact substitute to stretch a 10-man Norwich.
All in all it was a good way to end a bad week for Boro. A battle it was, and a battling point they got.