Middlesbrough: All to play for

Last updated : 05 January 2005 By Reggie Holdsworth

Boro have battled to get into the top six and ridden their luck on occasions, but they are not going to let it slip away now. Even after the defeats by Birmingham, Manchester United and Chelsea we are still in a healthy sixth position.

OK the top three may be out of our reach but there is no reason why we can’t push and a challenge for the fourth Champions League spot. With Everton up next at the Riverside we can consolidate our position and attempt to create a comfort zone for the top six, although Tottenham and maybe Charlton will have something to say about that.

With sixteen games and forty-eight points to play for we need to be picking up around thirty points to give ourselves a realistic chance of finishing fourth. It is not beyond our capabilities.

We must keep winning at home and continue to pick up victories on the road, at places like Norwich and Crystal Palace, as well as getting something out of games at Bolton, Portsmouth and Aston Villa.

Over the last nine seasons (38 games), a team finishing with sixty-five points would have finished fourth on three occasions, fifth on four occasions and sixth twice. A lot to ask for but if you look at the fixtures left we can do it.

Here’s my prediction:

Everton (h) win
Norwich (a) win
Portsmouth (a) draw
Blackburn (h) win
Bolton (a) draw
Charlton (h) win
Aston Villa (a) draw
Southampton (h) win
Crystal Palace (a) win
Arsenal (h) lose
Newcastle (a) draw
Fulham (h) win
West Brom (h) win
Liverpool (a) lose
Tottenham (h) draw
Manchester City (a) draw