If there are two things I don’t do, the other one might be extreme mood swings. I’m not in the habit of going from “yes, we’re world beaters!” to “shit, we’re terrible!” in the space of a few weeks, never mind four days.
All that said, Boro’s current approach to trying to avoid promotion really isn’t helping. Sometimes I think it’s possible for a manager to be too clever for his own good. Sometimes it might be better to let a winning team get on with winning. Develop an understanding. Be on the same wavelength. If one of them shows serious signs of flagging – not 5% down on the bleep test stats – then take him off.
On Friday, the performance, the spirit and the quality were all outstanding. There is absolutely no reason that couldn’t be carried on – without a change in personnel – to tonight’s game. Yes it might leave one of them blowing for Hull in 10 days’ time – but we could have been nine points clear of them by then. “We take one game at a time”, says the cliché – but we don’t. We cock about for three games in advance, trying to be the cleverest coach in the league.
I’ve seen managers who know what they want to do and can’t quite carry it off. I’ve seen managers who don’t have a sodding clue. Karanka is the first one I’ve seen who from time to time seems to actively make sure that any winning momentum is quickly arrested.
There’s every chance we’ll go up comfortably. It shouldn’t have to be so bloody difficult though.