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Immediate Reaction: Middlesbrough 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

Here we go again...

Clint Hughes/Getty Images


It seems as if overtime I offer my services to these here immediate reactions, my reaction is always one of utter contempt and apathy.

Bolton Wanderers have just been handily defeated by Middlesbrough, brushed aside as if they aren't a team of professional footballers. Last week, after the Derby County performance, Neil Lennon commented on how people thought going into the game that we were just going to make up the numbers. We didn't then, but we did today.

In a full 90 minutes of football we couldn't even muster a measly single shot on target. Not one. Which is a complete embarrassment.

Yes, it is against Boro, a team with unfathomable financial might who have a top Premier League player in their ranks, favourites for the title on their first game of the season at home after a disappointing opening day. They're a fantastic team far above our current level, no doubt about it. But we handed it to them today, we showed them too much respect and they walked all over us.

The players were the ones who put in the gutless and spineless performance, a far cry from a week ago, but this game really does fall on the manager's head with the formation he set up in, which he does freely admit.

I'm not against the 3-5-2, I do believe if given time and practise it can work for us, but we need the correct players for it to work first. We need the pacey Francesco Pisano on the right hand side, we need another striker who can run the channels, we a solid and energetic midfield, we need a ball playing centre back. We had none of those things today and it cost us considerably.

From the first minute to the last, Boro harassed us like a relentless swarm of hornets, scoring three goals fairly early in the first half. Had it not been for Ben Amos and Boro's lack of ruthlessness in the second half, it could have been a whole lot worse.

It's a real disappointment and coupled with Tuesday's defeat to Burton, a real shove back to Earth. We could be in serious trouble. Our best defender is leaving, and we really need to bring players in on the back of it. Thankfully, it appears that that will happen.

It goes without saying, but a massive reaction is needed in our next two games against MK Dons and Nottingham Forest. Both are very winnable but we could easily fuck those up just as well, if we do the latter then we could find ourselves trailing the pack already.

On a slightly more positive note, if you had have offered me a point after our first two games before the season had started, I probably would have gladly accepted.