Middlesbrough v QPR - Neil Warnock needs to cure Riverside problem

OF all the numbers that Neil Warnock will have looked at after answering Middlesbrough’s call in their hour of need, the chances are that one statistic will have stuck out.

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.

The Teessiders have yet to win a home game at the Riverside Stadium this calendar year and even though the Championship season has been significantly truncated in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, it is still a grim and embarrassing statistic.

You must go back to Boxing Day for Boro’s last victory, a 1-0 success over Huddersfield Town with the seven games since yielding four draws and three defeats.

If Boro are to save their Championship skins, that will have to change if Warnock is to preside over his latest ‘Great Escape.’

Boro head into tomorrow’s game against one of Warnock’s former clubs on the back of a shattering late defeat at relegation rivals Hull City.

The vastly-experienced manager was quick to criticise his side for being the architects of their own downfall in East Yorkshire, he was equally quick to stress the need to move on within a hectic schedule of games and pick his players up straightaway.

Warnock, who lamented Boro’s poor final ball option at the KCOM Stadium, said: “With the six games we have got, if we can just brush up on a few things in the final third, then we certainly do not have to fear anybody.

“We have just got to put our own house in order.

“It is frustrating, but we have to put the frustration behind us and start again.

“We certainly cannot be feeling sorry for ourselves or stewing on this (Hull).”

One of the plus points in Warnock’s reign so far has been the return to prominence of Patrick Roberts, who posed problems for Hull in a No 10 role before fading in the second half.

It followed his impressive performance at Stoke, although Warnock, alert to Boro’’s congested schedule, is mindful of the fact that Roberts has only recently returned from a hamstring problem.

The Boro chief said: “Patrick wants to carry on (at Hull), but I just do not want to risk him.

“At the moment, with so many games, we have to be careful,” he added.

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