* The Original Unofficial "Official" Boro v Norwich Match-Day Thread *


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Its that time again.......

With five official league games left to go, its safe to say its been one hell of a season - so far. Carrick said he always looks forward, not backwards and learns the players to do better - every time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt. Like Carrick says [often] "that`s football". After the predictable defeat against fly-away leaders Burnley, the lads showed true spirit and character to fight back from 2-0 down at Ashton Gate to earn a point at the final whistle. One blade of grass might have made the "offside goal" 3-2 right at the end, but we still played well off the ball and bossed possession.

So its on to Norwich: a team always tipped for promotion - often because they have just been relegated [again]. They do well out of parachute payments. But this season things havent quite gone to plan: Dean Smith replaced Daniel Farke in Novemeber 2021. But just 13 months later - December 2022 - he was sacked, having won only 12 and lost 21 of his 42 games in charge! For all those stats fans - that`s a win rate of just over 28%. It was during his tenure that we helped put a nail in his departure, with that fantastic 2-1 win at Carrow Road. McGree`s scissor kick goal is one which will last long in the memory.

David Wagner was appointed in January this year and appears to have steadied the ship. Some Canaries fans concur with the sentiment that the playing staff need a major overhaul. Performances have been inconsistent this season, but they remain in 8th place - a point off the play-off places. At the start of April they lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield United, but then beat Blackburn 2-0 away, followed by 0-0 at home to Rotherham. Norwich have scored 10 more [52] than they`ve conceded in 41 games. Of the last 6 matches they have won 1, drawn 3 and lost 2. [Boro: W2 D2 L2]

Its another warm night under the floodlights at the Riverside to look forward to. We are 4th in the table behind Luton, 6 points ahead of Millwall, Blackburn and Preston [All on 62]. The team from Brambley Lane are 8 points ahead, so we focus on each individual game and shut out all the noise about the chase for automatic promotion. But you never know?

Never say never!
Its not all over until its all over.

Come On Boro!
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Middlesbrough v Norwich City Preview:

Plus David Wagner's Championship team news.​

David Wagner previewed Norwich City’s Championship fixture against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Friday - and we brought you all the key lines first direct from Colney.

City's productive Easter weekend has left them one point outside the Championship's play-off places with five matches left to play - starting this Friday with a trip to Teesside.

Despite gaining a point on both Blackburn and Milwall, Norwich fans were left frustrated after their Carrow Road stalemate against Rotherham United on Easter Monday. A win would have taken them into the top six for the first time since December.

They have a chance to heap pressure on their competitors with victory in the north east against Michael Carrick's side.

Norwich have only won one of their last six Championship matches and are looking to source some momentum to take into the run in.

City will be without experienced trio Grant Hanley (achilles), Ben Gibson (hamstring) and Kenny McLean (knee) for the remainder of the season.
Hanley underwent successful surgery on a ruptured achilles injury on Tuesday and is now set to miss months of action.

Gibson and McLean will miss the rest of the regular campaign but could come into contention if City make the play-offs.

Experienced duo Isaac Hayden and Sam Byram returned to the matchday squad on Monday following their prolonged absences.

Midfielder Marcelino Nunez remains sidelined with an ankle injury sustained in training before City's defeat to Sheffield United. The Chilean international is poised to return next week.

Jon Rowe has rejoined training and could feature in City's matchday squad for Friday's trip to Middlesbrough.
Kieran Dowell
is out until the second half of April with a knee ligament injury suffered against Birmingham City.
Przemyslaw Placheta (shin) is a longer-term absentee and hasn't made an appearance since August.

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Tuesday 14th November 2014
Boro 4 Norwich 0
Goals: Bamford [5]. Leadbitter [33] + Penalty [69]. Wildschut [85].
Assists: Adomah [5]
Tomlin [69]

Middlesbrough climbed into the Championship's top two by thrashing fellow promotion hopefuls Norwich.(y)

Patrick Bamford gave Boro an early lead with a stooping header from Albert Adomah's cross.
Grant Leadbitter then scored twice, either side of the break, the first from a penalty and the second from a header following Lee Tomlin's pass. And Yanic Wildschut netted their fourth, flicking home after John Ruddy fumbled a Leadbitter corner.

Victory took Boro above previous leaders Watford, with Bournemouth now top following their 2-0 success at Sheffield Wednesday. Norwich, who could have gone top had results gone their way, are seventh and have won one game in their past seven. Aitor Karanka's side, in contrast, have now only lost once in their past 11 Championship matches. And the hosts took just five minutes to take the lead as Bamford, on loan from Chelsea, scored his fourth goal of the season.

There was not much between the teams in the first half, with ex-Boro captain Gary O'Neil forcing a save from Dimitrios Konstantopoulos, and Cameron Jerome and Kyle Lafferty missing the target for the visitors. Boro got their second when Russell Martin fouled George Friend, and Leadbitter scored his fifth penalty of the season. Canaries striker Gary Hooper, who cost the club about £5m last year, came on at half-time for only his fourth appearance of the season, but things got even worse for his side. Leadbitter made it 3-0 with a looping header from Tomlin's ball over the top and Wildschut added the fourth with his second goal since his summer move from Den Haag.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:
"We have very good players and a very good squad. We are in a very good way but these kind of games cannot confuse us into thinking everything is done. I am very happy and very pleased but we want to keep our feet on the ground. We would like to be in this position in May. I am very pleased with the result and the performance, especially in the second half. That means we have now beaten the three sides who were relegated, which is good and important for us."

Boro starting line - up:


League Table:
There was a twist in the tail later in the season, when we played them at Carrow Road on 17th April 2015. It was an own goal by Alexander Tetty which gave us a 1-0 victory and saw Boro go top of the Championship!

The Guardian reported:

Middlesbrough seize promotion initiative at Norwich to top table

Middlesbrough had a golden chance late in the game to make their victory more emphatic but even though they could lose the top spot on Saturday, with their promotion rivals Bournemouth and Watford both playing at home, they have put themselves firmly back in contention in what appears now to be a three-horse race for the leading two positions.

“It’s been an amazing week,” said Boro’s manager, Aitor Karanka. “To win three games in six days, especially this one at Norwich when people were expecting us to lose. I’m very proud of my players. Once again they proved that when they are at their best they can beat anybody.”

The purpose and quality behind Middlesbrough’s start caught Norwich by surprise and resulted in a stream of corners – any of which could have led to them going in front. There was a sharpness about them that belied their recent poor run on their travels, with defeats at both Bournemouth and Watford preceding this.

Jelle Vossen was only just stifled out of it when Tomas Kalas did well to chase down a long pass and send the ball across. The same player then fired the ball narrowly over on the volley after Albert Adomah’s driven centre had been helped on by Patrick Bamford.

Memory Lane:

John Neale`s Boro Side 1980 / 81
middlesbrough fc 1980-81.jpg

John Neale took over from "Big Jack" Charlton in 1977. He had previously managed Wrexham who got promoted the season after he departed the North Wales Club! Although 31, Micky Burns scored some crucial goals. Started his career at Blackpool, before joining Newcastle. Boro signed him from Cardiff for £75K. Midfielder, Graeme Hedley began his career with Boro under Jack Charlton making 50 appearances and scoring 6 goals. He was loaned out three times during his 7 year spell at Boro and finished his career at Hartlepool United.

Irving Nattrass joined, having made 238 league appearances for the skunks. He was one of those players best described as "Mr Reliable". He suffered a lot from injury, but still made 191 appearances for the Boro. Middlesbrough born Mark Proctor signed as Associate School-boy in 1975 and became an ever-present. He later moved on to have a successful career which included Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland.

South - African Craig Johnston was like greased lightening. He could turn on a sixpence and burst into opponents ten-yard box in the blink of an eye. As a schoolboy he wrote to four English Football League clubs for a trial and was eventually signed by Jack Charlton at the age of 17. "Big" Billy Ashcroft, a scouser, followed Neale from Wrexham. He was a big fella and he could knock over defenders just with his boot laces. Left Boro in 82 to join Dutch club FC Twente.

Defender, Ian Bailey was another local lad, who joined around the same time as Mark Proctor. Made his debut against Spurs in 1975. Mike Angus was yet another local lad, who often came off the bench. Ended his career in the Darlington side which got promoted to the Third Division in 1984/85. Inverness born, David Shearer, joined Boro at the age of 20. Began life in the Highland League and finally hung up his boots playing for Billingham Synthonia. Charlie Bell made only 10 appearances in 4 years and decided to move on in 1981 to join Mansfield Town. He later changed his football boot to join the Poilice force and also Managed Maske Town until 2008.

David "spike" Armstrong made a record 305 consecutive appearances in a Boro shirt in a career which spanned 10 years [1971-81]. He was a class player - who many said if he had played for a "fashionable" club, would have played regularly for England. In total he made 359 appearances. After moving to Southampton he ended his career at Bournemouth where he moved and passed away in August 2022.

John Craggs signed from the Skunks for £60K in 1971. In a career which spanned 19 years, 11 of those were in a Boro shirt. He was a really dependable defender, who knew how to get the ball! Jim Stewart was second - goalie to the main man - Jim Platt. Stewart was a more than capable keeper. He went on to play for Glasgow Rangers and ended his career at Partick Thistle.

Glaswegian, Tony McAndrew was one of those players whom we expected to be on the team-sheet every week. As a centre-half he could put in some crunching tackles, but he could also score some spectacular goals. His Boro career lasted almost 10 years and after leaving for Chelsea in 1982, he showed his loyalty and dedication to the cause - returning to play for Boro during the dark period of 1984 - 86. Middlesbrough was the professional starting point of Gateshead born David Hodgson`s career. Signed apprentice forms on his 16th birthday and was a real favourite at Ayresome. I seem to remember him appearing in the Holgate in a suit whilst out injured - setting the crowd alight.

Jim Platt - was the main man between the sticks for almost 12 years. Originally from Northern Ireland, Boro stumped up £7K to bring him from Ballymena! He also played for Northern Ireland, but was kept out of regular appearances by a chap called Pat Jennings!
Many will have memories and stories to tell of that period, but unfortunately there isnt enough space or time to tell them all right now.
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3-1 tonight and back on track, we will have too much for a patched up Norwich defense, also be good to get that play off spot asap.
Hope your right 🙏🏻

Listening to the boro breakdown match preview with a Norwich fan on and they have terrible injury issues at centre half : but Hernandez and Sara (Brazilian) in very good form apparently and obviously pukki up top so on the break they could be dangerous but brittle at the back….
This could be a classic 🙈. I don’t want a classic though, I want a 3-0 Boro win (or more) ! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Should have been my son's first Boro game tonight, but he, wife and daughter are all ill 😭😭.

So Sky it is, gutted.

I'll be happy with a decent performance and 3 points tonight, doesn't need to be a masterclass.

Win, however, jobs a good 'un and on to Hull 👍
Should have been my son's first Boro game tonight, but he, wife and daughter are all ill 😭😭.

So Sky it is, gutted.

I'll be happy with a decent performance and 3 points tonight, doesn't need to be a masterclass.

Win, however, jobs a good 'un and on to Hull 👍
I tend to agree that the points are more important than the game. However, I think we may well thump these given the disruption they are experiencing at the minute
Big game now for the reason we didn't really want it to be - lose and we are looking over our shoulders. I'd like to see McGree in for Forss and maybe Archer for Crooks.
* An occasional feature, tracing the pathways of current Boro players and how they hit the headlines on their journey.

Jonny Howson

Leeds United's sale of Jonny Howson smacks of a lack of ambition​

The club's captain has taken a shortcut to the Premier League by joining Norwich and few expect Leeds to get there too.
Leeds United's sale of the club captain, Jonny Howson, will do little to quell supporter unrest at Elland Road. Sidelined since December with a knee injury, Howson has described leaving his boyhood club for Norwich City as the biggest decision of his life. The lure of immediate Premier League football was too great in the end.


Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk to go up against his old club Leeds for Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson​

Midfielder is keen on a move back up to the north of England with his young family
Published: 18:30, 30 Jun 2017.

GARRY MONK is battling his old club Leeds for Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson.
The Middlesbrough boss is ready to pay £5million for the midfielder, who is set to leave the Canaries this summer.
 Jonny Howson has been linked with a move to Middlesbrough and Leeds
Jonny Howson has been linked with a move to Middlesbrough and LeedsCredit: Reuters
 Garry Monk is looking to beat his former side to the midfielder
Garry Monk is looking to beat his former side to the midfielderCredit: PA:press Association
Howson, 29, started his career at Leeds and they want to bring him back to Elland Road.
But Monk is increasingly confident he will land one of his top summer targets.
Monk is looking to bolster his squad at the Riverside after being announced as manager earlier this month, following his stint as Leeds boss last season.
Howson would bring great experience to Boro's midfield after playing for Norwich in the Premier League and the Championship. The 29-year-old also tasted promotion with the Canaries in 2015 - after they beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at Wembley. Last season he started 37 times for Norwich in the Championship and appeared as a substitute once as he scored six goals and provided seven assists.
 Jonny Howson was a fan favourite at Elland Road
Jonny Howson was a fan favourite at Elland Road


Middlesbrough sign Jonny Howson from Norwich​

Friday 7 July 2017 17:55, UK
Middlesbrough have completed the signing of midfielder Jonny Howson from Norwich.
The 29-year-old passed a medical on Teeside and has joined for an undisclosed fee.

He is Garry Monk's first signing since he took over at Middlesbrough.



Club captain Jonny Howson has signed up for a seventh season with Boro.​

The 34-year-old has put pen to paper on a new one-year contract that will keep him at the club until the end of next season. The midfielder has clocked up 269 appearances since joining from Norwich City in the summer of 2017 and has been a mainstay of the Boro side since his arrival. The Yorkshireman has continued to play a key role at the heart of Michael Carrick's midfield, and the Boro Head Coach is delighted to secure his services beyond the end of the current campaign.
"He's a big part of what we do here," said Carrick.
"He's had a good season, he's in great shape, and he's such a great example to the rest of the lads here."
Jonny, Boro's longest serving player after Dael Fry, follows in the footsteps of Tommy Smith by pledging his future to the club.

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