Blackburn Rovers manager Jon Dahl Tomasson believes that Middlesbrough will still have a big say in the Championship promotion race, despite their poor start to the new campaign.
The Teesside club currently sit bottom of the table with just a solitary point and travel to Ewood Park tomorrow afternoon in search of their first win. Boss Michael Carrick oversaw a huge turnaround last season, taking over last October with the club facing the prospect of a relegation battle. However, the former Manchester United coach eventually guided Boro to the play-offs, where they narrowly lost out to Coventry City in the semi-final.
This season has started in disastrous fashion, thanks in part to the departure of top goalscorer Chuba Akpom, who joined European giants Ajax in the summer. New signing Emmanuel Latte Lath is the man tasked with filling that void after his transfer from Atalanta, whilst the loan signing of Sam Greenwood shortly before the end of the transfer window has added to Carrick’s attacking options.
Blackburn have had an average start of their own, sitting in 13th with two wins and a draw from their opening five fixtures. Jon Dahl Tomasson will be targeting another three points tomorrow, having not played a home fixture in nearly a month. The former Danish international is not taking Middlesbrough’s league position for granted though, and thoroughly expects tomorrow’s opponents’ fortunes to change in the coming months. Speaking ahead of the clash, the 47-year-old said;
“They (Middlesbrough) are a team I expect to be up there. They’ve missed lot of chances, they should have scored lots of goals against QPR but lost 2-0.”
It is set to be a big week for Carrick and they will know the importance of this fixture ahead of their trip to fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday next Tuesday.
Middlesbrough are a team that should be competing in the upper reaches of the table and Carrick will be given time to turn around the poor start. However, should he fail to get anything out of tomorrow’s trip to Blackburn and Tuesday’s visit to Hillsborough, he could find himself under real pressure.
The squad overhaul in the summer has not helped, but the former England international has refused to use that as an excuse and knows full well the buck stops with him.