Middlesbrough (A): The Pickpocket on Teesside

14th January 2018
Photo: Rex Features

Fulhamish’s latest recruit, Sam Crosby-Browne, takes a sideways look at the three points gained at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday afternoon and suggests that a different side of Fulham shown might just be the Plan B required to sustain a dash for the Play-Offs again this season.

Ollie Norwood described the precious 3 points picked up on Teeside Saturday afternoon as the classic ‘smash & grab’ result and, with the amount that term is thrown around these days, smash & grab doesn’t quite cover it.

It’s always satisfying to leave a promotion rival with maximum points but to steal the jackpot in the last minute of the game is a work of art that has been locked away from our viewing for years.

We’re way too used to being on the other end of these types of finales – conceding in the last minute, infuriatingly breaking the opposition down but not finding the net, the list goes on – but this result is my favourite of the season so far and for a multitude of reasons.

Of course, leaving Cardiff with all three points and scoring four last month was also a highlight but, if we’re testing our personalities and being entirely truthful with ourselves, we are more than capable of producing Cardiff-esque performances more often.

We’ve proved under Slav that we’re a team that can play creative, attacking football and score goals. Furthermore, our away form has also been one of the strongest in the division (1.5 points per game on average) so, ultimately, the stats showed that the Cardiff game was coming.

In comparison, what I find more impressive is grabbing a last minute winner away from the Cottage against a team who have punched above their weight by securing a talented, Premier League Manager and all whilst keeping a ‘gold dust’ clean sheet?

It’s the kind of performance that screams satisfaction, boasts patience, hard work and a ‘Daily Grind’ mentality where we put 3 points ahead of anything else. It’s a blueprint Slav isn’t used to seeing from our team but, from the post-match interviews, it’s a result you can definitely believe was one of his favourites too.

On a side note, the Middlesbrough win will hardly help the gaffer’s recent outbursts regarding transfer policy at the club. With four wins from the last five games, it’s concrete proof that we have the quality in the squad (and a manager who can clearly get the best out of it) to repeat last season’s heroics all over again.

Seeing new faces arrive at the club always brings a sense of ambition and optimism from the club to climb higher but, with four fixtures coming up where we’ll be hoping to get as close to 12 points as possible, here’s hoping that ‘The Pickpocket on Teesside’ is the heist we needed to believe that we can push for the Top 6 until the very last kick of this season.

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