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Sky Sports pundit delivers Middlesbrough play-off verdict as Cardiff City clash looms



Sky Sports pundit Jobi McAnuff has insisted that Middlesbrough will need to pick up maximum points from their remaining three league games in order to have any chance of securing a play-off spot in the Championship.

Whereas Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield Town and Luton Town have all managed to pick up positive results in their recent league fixtures, Boro have experienced a concerning dip in form since being knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea last month.

In their last six league games, Middlesbrough have suffered defeats at the hands of Fulham, Hull City and Huddersfield with their only victory coming against Peterborough United at the start of April.

Despite this slump, Boro will close the gap between them and Sheffield United, who occupy the final place in the play-offs, to two points if they beat Cardiff City at the Riverside Stadium tomorrow.

Although the Bluebirds have suffered four defeats in their last five league games, Middlesbrough cannot afford to underestimate Steve Morison’s side on Wednesday.

Ahead of this fixture, McAnuff has offered an honest assessment of Boro’s play-off hopes.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, McAnuff said: “They’ve hit a bit of a blockage in terms of scoring goals, I think it’s only one in their last five now and that has been a real issue.

“There have been some decent performances in there without having the goals, they have had some tough teams to play against, they have come against Fulham in that run, Bournemouth in that run.

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“But for me, if you are trying to get in those play-offs, they’ve got to be beating Swansea.

You know, you look at the next three games, they’ve got Cardiff, they’ve got Stoke and they’ve got Preston, they are going to have to win every game now pretty much I would say to try and get in there and they shouldn’t really be in this position.”

The Verdict

McAnuff’s comments are spot-on as Boro really have to step up their performance levels in their upcoming games if they are to have a chance of extending their season past the 46-game mark in May.

Whereas Middlesbrough did show glimpses of promise in their draw with Swansea City last weekend, they were forced to settle for a point in this clash due to the fact that they were unable to convert their chances.

Boro will need the likes of Duncan Watmore and Josh Coburn to be firing on all cylinders in order to pick up a victory tomorrow night.

Providing that Boro go on to seal all three points in their showdown with Cardiff, they could use the confidence gained from this result to their advantage in their clashes with Stoke City and Preston North End.

Freelance writer for Football League World. Previously worked for 90min & GiveMeSport.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sky Sports pundit delivers Middlesbrough play-off verdict as Cardiff City clash looms

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