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Interview With An Away Fan: Middlesbrough FC

Sunday sees the Whites travel north to face the Boro - Middlesbrough FC. Neil Warnock's men will be looking for their first goal since he took permanent charge, in what promises to be a tough game. Jonathan Firby a Boro Fan and blogger is the editor of Boro site We Shall Overcome. Despite not writing much this season on the Boro, Jonathan runs a successful Facebook page throughout the year which you can view here.

So without further ado below are his answers, lets hope his score prediction is wrong though.

I asked you back in August if Tony Mowbray could get you promoted to the Premiership; your reply was that you'd be overjoyed if you made the play-offs. It looks like you will but can you go up automatically?

I think it has taken most fans by surprise how well we are doing this year but I think that a realistic view has to be finishing 3rd or 4th. If we can begin to sort our home form (starting with Leeds) and beat West Ham away the sky could be the limit though!

4th in the table with 59 points, do you fear dropping out of them towards the end of the season?

Not really... I think it will be a tight finish but we have been fairly consistent all season.

Considering your solid and fairly consistent season, do you think anything less than a play-off finish will be a failure, although you had a shocking year last season?

Personally no because I, like many fans, are happy we have the right Chairman, right manager and lots of academy lads in the team so even if we don't make the play-offs I'll still be happy watching the lads in the Championship. The way football is at the moment we are lucky to have a stable, local team that are at times a pleasure to watch.

You've recently signed Adam Hammill who I would love at Leeds. Are you pleased with the capture and his first performance?

I saw him play against Barnsley and was very impressed with him. He has pace, skill and he's not shy with a trick or two when taking on players. He's just what we need in the team and I hope we can make him a permanent addition to the squad.

Marvin Emnes seems to have stopped scoring as many goals I could be wrong. Is he back to his best and still a constant threat?

He scored a good goal last week against Portsmouth but as of late he hasn't been knocking them in with as much regularity as at the start of the season. If Marv starts his pace up front will cause Leeds problems but if he fails to score the recent additions of Bart Ogbeche (who scored last against Barnsley) and Lukas Jutkiewicz hopefully will fill in.

What were your thoughts on the first game between us two...personally I thought all three dismissals were poor and we were the better side?

I thought the referee had an absolute shocker and I was very disappointed with the way Jonny Howson behaved. All the sending offs were dubious to say the least but I thought we just edged it on the day and deserved the three points (but I'm going to say that aren't I?)

As well as Emnes and McDonald you've also got the big man Lukas JutKiewicz. Have you been impressed with him since his move from Coventry?

I am, especially since his Cup goal against Sunderland! He brings different qualities to our attacking line and has fitted into the balance of the team well.

How do you see Boro lining up on Sunday?

I can't see Mowbray changing too much from the side that played Barnsley, injuries aside. If fit Nicky Bailey will come back into midfield and Tony McMahon may be brought in rather than Hoyte who for some reason if favoured usually for his attacking ability.

The crowds always look poor at the Riverside no offence, are you expecting a bigger crowd with it being a decent fixture, or has the TV and Sunday schedule ruined any chance of that?

It's a strange one this. The TV will have an impact but Boro fans do see this game as a 'true' Yorkshire derby so crowd numbers will be up. I would of thought Leeds will be bringing a few thousand so my train journey home on Sunday evening will be an interesting one!

Who do Leeds fans need to watch out for?

Curtis Main - He may not start but he will feature at some point. He is another product of our academy and has recently broken into the first team. The young striker is quick and strong and despite only a few appearances has a senior goal to his name already.

Anyone from the Whites you'd like to bring to the Riverside?

McCormack has knocked a few goals in so he would be a nice addition but I do have a soft spot for Becchio.

And finally what is your prediction for the match?

If memory serves me correctly Leeds have failed to score in 3 games so you are probably due to score, but our defence has been looking solid of late... I think it will be tight, but I think we will just have the edge, especially if Nicky Bailey is back. I'll go 1 - 0 to Boro with a goal coming from Barry Robson (maybe a penalty!)