Millwall v Middlesbrough - Boro want points for different reasons at New Den

NEIL WARNOCK’S Middlesbrough have certainly come a long way since their last visit to the New Den in July.

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.

Ahead of that particular game towards the end of a tense run-in in 2019-20, Boro found themselves in the bottom three, with a 2-0 victory representing a significant and cherished moment in a tough campaign and going a long way towards securing their Championship status for another year.

Boro head south in search of points for different reasons today as they seek to keep their season alive at the business end.

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The Teessiders remain on the coat-tails of the top six and the margin for error is slim.

But should they win and other results go for them this afternoon, they may just give one or two clubs something to think about in the international break.

Boss Warnock commented: “We do have an eye on next season already and if at some stage we do drop out of it, then I will use it as a chance to give opportunities to players who perhaps haven’t played as much.

“But you never give up on anything, I have certainly never done that in my career.

“I still look forward to going looking for three points at this stage of the season to keep yourselves in the mix.”

If Boro do not make the play-offs and regardless of what happens today, it is likely to be events on home soil which Warnock will rue come mid-May.

Just as the club’s poor Riverside form was a key contributor in their ‘nearly relegation’ season, so a winter run of five defeats in six home matches would represent a big reason for their failure to reach the end-of-season lottery.

Warnock added: “The players have done well, but I am disappointed because I think we should have eight to 10 points more than what we have got.

“Sometimes that has been our own fault and other times it is been factors beyond our control. But it also does also show you the potential this squad has got.”

Understandably, Warnock has one eye on next season and he remains confident that key defender Dael Fry and winger Marcus Tavernier will be Boro players in 2021-22.

He added: “All the players know my situation, that I am here next year and they all know it would need to be an unbelievable offer that gets anybody out of here because if I am here, they are here.”

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