Ruthless streak shines through

Mousinho insists Boro can raise the bar once more against Notts County on Saturday

JOHN MOUSINHO says he isn’t sure how to explain the contrasting performances of his team against Oldham on Saturday and Sheffield Wednesday just three days later.

Boro put in an average display at Boundary Park at the weekend to earn a point against Paul Dickov’s side, yet on Tuesday evening the same group of players ripped through the Owls in a way which had many neutrals wondering if it was indeed the same team.

Similarly to Saturday’s match, Boro raced into an early lead but on this occasion, instead of failing to build on their advantage, they were ruthless in their dismantling of Wednesday to go on and record a 5-1 scorleline on a night that will live long in the memory of Boro supporters.

“I don’t know (how to explain it),” Mousinho told The Comet. “We were disappointed on Saturday with the result and the performance especially, so I think it was a case of galvanising ourselves before coming here and trying to get back-to-back home wins. I think that was really important and we got a good crowd out tonight and obviously managed to go and produce. So it’s something we’ll have to think about and see how we can play like that every week.”

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Mousinho was forced to withdraw from the action after 55 minutes due to a hamstring problem and now looks doubtful for Saturday’s home clash with Notts County. It will be a blow if he doesn’t make the match because his performance in the middle of the park on Tuesday, alongside the equally impressive Michael Bostwick, was superb.

Nevertheless, even if he isn’t involved, Mousinho says the team are more than capable of raising the bar once again come 3pm on Saturday.

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“Yeah absolutely I think it’s possible to raise it,” he added. “That’s got to be our aim for Saturday. We’ve come away from tonight without a clean sheet so that will be the first thing we’ll work on and we had quite a few chances that we didn’t put away so there’s always plenty to work on and opportunities to improve. It’s important not to get carried away and we have to keep working on things.”

It says much about the mentality of the team that, rather than sit back and see the game out on Tuesday, Boro were eager to get more goals and inflict more damage upon the stricken Owls. And despite drawing the second half 1-1, they still managed to produce a high level of performance that pleased manager Graham Westley.

“We wanted more,” added Mousinho. “We wanted to keep pressing them and replicate the first half and, if possible, push on and get a few more. Unfortunately we got the fifth before conceding a goal so it was a bit disappointing from that aspect but we did enough work in the first half to seal the points and it was just a shame we couldn’t go on and get a bigger victory.

“It was a really good result. We completely dominated the first and it can be tricky sometimes at half time when you’re leading by that sort of margin but it was pleasing that we closed it out in the second half so there are plenty of positives to take from the match.”

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