Opposition Viewpoint – Middlesbrough

A bit about you:

Name: Robert Nichols

Current home town:  Middlesbrough

Birthplace: Middlesbrough

How long have you supported your team? My dad bought my brother, himself and me season tickets to watch Jack Charlton’s newly promoted top flight team in 1974. Been a regular since.

Overview of your club:

Favourite thing about your home ground: Tremendous view wherever you sit. But I loved the old ground Ayresome Park that I bought a house on the site and still live there.

Favourite match played by your team & why: Winning the Carling Cup final in 2004 was pure joy after generations of suffering falling well short. Twenty years anniversary next year and we are still in the League Cup, who knows?!?

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: John Hickton was the fearless, top scoring centre forward when I was at primary school and everyone wanted to be him in playground kickabouts.

About our forthcoming match against you:

Your favourite current player in your squad and why? Isaiah Jones because he glides past opponents and down the wing. A real threat posed from his speed and his final delivery.

Player in your squad we should most fear and why? Hayden Hackney, now an England U21 regular and in only his second full season he will attempt to boss the midfield and will take some stopping.

Player in our squad you most fear and why? You have retained such a strong squad of players but Iheanacho was lethal in the Premier and is bound to cause carnage at this level.

Where do you think you’ll finish this season? We had a quite appalling start taking just 2 points from the first 7 games. That came after such a great season under Michael Carrick. Fortunately, Carrick never lost his nerve and we came storming back with a 6 game winning run. We have stuttered since so it is all very confusing. We are very relieved that we stopped the rot and hoping to challenge once again at the end of the season. I think we will be pressing for promotion.

How do you think you’ll do against us? Am hoping we win. Should be a very good game. We will give you a real test.

Any other comments?

Good to be playing the Foxes again – we have had some big contests over the years. We will never forget or quite get over Emile Heskey equalising in injury time at Wembley in the League Cup final or Steve Claridge getting the winner in the replay in 1996/97. But that apart there have been memorable wins for both of us. I hope it is a good contest and that Boro wins… ha ha.

If anyone is going to the game I will be selling Fly Me To The Moon fanzine – a 35th birthday issue – am glad it is a proper old school contest like Boro v Leicester for this special edition.

As mentioned, Robert is editor of the Fly Me To The Moon fanzine – which survives in printed form and so why not pick up a copy if you are going to the Riverside. Their online forum is at https://fmttmboro.com/