Barnsley vs Middlesbrough

Riverside Stadium, April 16, 3pm

IF Boro’s first season back in the Championship was seen as a disaster, how bad must this one look?

The outlook was positive back in August with Gordan Strachan having a full summer to work with the side. But his approach of raiding Scotland for players created a disjointed and toothless side, now in the hands of Tony Mowbray.

With survival almost sealed, the attention turns to the summer and a slashing of the wage bill from around £20m to £6m.

MANAGER

TONY Mowbray was a brave man to accept the managerial position at the Riverside.

With Boro in major decline, it was hardly an easy job for the 47-year-old to accept after his disastrous six months at Celtic, especially given his legendary status at Boro due to almost 350 appearances as a defender.

Mowbray will be looking to forget the spell at Celtic and reproduce his brilliant work with West Brom, where he preached a brilliant attacking philosophy that saw the Baggies take the Championship by storm and attract the Bhoys in the first place.

But the hardest times may yet have come.