On reflection . . .

Last updated : 24 August 2005 By Reggie Holdsworth
It was always going to be a testing start to the season, the European Champions at home, followed by two away games, against established Premiership side.

Having gone behind at Spurs we were making all the running, but for the poor finishing and Mark Schwarzer gifting Spurs a second goal we may have got something out of the game.

The next game couldn't come quick enough to show that Boro have that bouncebackability quality. And bounce back we did in big style.

An enforced change meant that Mark Viduka started in place of the injured Yakubu. It was Viduka who turned in a man-of-the-match performance with two first half goals of the highest quality. A third by Franck Queudrue sealed Boro's first victory at Birmingham for 27 years.

Viduka was ably assisted by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, while Stuart Downing and James Morrison continually caused Birmingham problems down the flanks. The defence stood firm with Mark Schwarzer back to his best between the sticks, after his mishap on Saturday. All-in-all a thoroughly professional performance.

Overall, not a great start, but one that will fill the fans with a growing confidence that we have the ability to compete at the highest level. If the new signings do materialise before the transfer window closes next week we could be in for a very exciting season.