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Middlesbrough 1 v 0 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 4th December 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Wilder warns Swansea City : It’s about what we do today, we won’t be bullied
Saturday, 4th Dec 2021 07:11 by David Cornish & Keith Haynes

The swans are in Middlesbrough for this afternoons big match in the Championship. It’s a 3pm kick off at the Riverside stadium. Boro manager Chris Wilder is confident that the swans style of play won’t affect his players, and they have enough in place to not only deal with Russell Martin’s tactics but to win the game.

The home loss to Preston recently clearly hurt Boro boss Chris Wilder, the lillywhites blow hot and cold but their smash and grab win at the Riverside proved one thing. And the swans know this. You can dominate and create as much as you like, but there’s no forgiveness in the Championship if you don’t score goals. It happened to Boro at home to Preston and it happened to the swans last week at home to Reading. Immediately after last weeks game Russell Martin was openly furious with the way his team had performed. However, yesterday morning he was far more complimentary. “ I have watched the game again and we were the better side, and those mistakes won’t happen on Saturday, in fact the performance overall was very pleasing. We are just trying to improve as much as we can in as many different areas as we can. We have had a strong training group, everyone has completed every session, which is really positive and hopefully we can keep that the case for a while to come. You can’t legislate for everything but we have had a really good injury record over our time as a coaching group, and that’s down to the excellent sports science and medical teams we have worked with. It’s also down to the guys and their willingness and ability to train really well, with real intensity to do everything possible to be ready for a Saturday.”

Wilder is still looking for his first home win

Chris Wilder is also in the same camp as Martin when it comes to training and learning ‘in the now’ and not continuing to look back in anger. Talking about today’s game, “We might play out of this world and not get the result we are after. Some part of me would be ‘we’re on the right track in terms of the way we are playing and the wins will come. It is new way of playing, new structure and new ideas. I am not being critical of what has gone off in the past. But this is how we want to go about it and there’s always something to play for and something in this season for us, regardless of why I have ultimately been brought in. The players know I am not a foot off the gas type. We are all getting judged now and my attitude towards players is consistent. You cannot turn it on and off and I cannot.But the other part is that we are in it to win games of football. Hopefully we can play with our feet on the gas constantly”

Preston equalise through Ched Evans at the Riverside

Wilder saw his first victory as Boro boss last weekend at Huddersfield in a very competent performance. And it took some pressure off the criticism Wilder has faced from a small minority of Boro fans. Yes they have them too. Asking his side to play at full pelt will come with issues, especially if their training is not reflective of that wish. And it takes time for the players to buy in to this ethos. And to reach a level of fitness and conditioning that means they can implement it. Sound familiar ? It seems to us that Wilder is a few months behind Martin in his training demands. The swans boss was quick to acknowledge his teams intensity in training this week citing their incredible fitness record as a result of the training philosophy.

Wilder has also made it clear this week his Boro side won’t be pushed around by the swans. “We do know they like to dominate possession, but it’s not going to effect us that much, we won’t be bullied. It is about winning the next game and moving on. I was listening to a podcast in the week and even the top players are talking about it – the Virgil van Dijk’s. It’s about moving on to the next game.If that is good enough for them, it is certainly good enough for me and that has always been my approach. It is what you are in it for.”

So, Boro will go with their game plan and won’t let Swansea City impose themselves on that. It’s an interesting philosophy and possibly the first time a manager this season has disregarded the swans playing style. However, Wilder mentioning it doesn’t convince us he has entirely pushed the swans ethos to one side. However he is a manager who can see what Swansea City do on the pitch and use that to his own advantage. Russell Martin has to be aware of this.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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