Town came back down to earth with a bang on Tuesday evening after the heady heights of last Saturday at the new Plough Lane as we recorded one of our biggest away days wins in the club’s history.
The last two games ultimately sum up our entire season, as in SW19 Jody Morris’ side showed what they’re capable of producing.
Especially down the right-hand side, as Remeao Hutton and Jonny Williams had a field day against former Town midfielder Diallang Jaiyesimi and Lee Brown.
The pick of the goals came from Jake Wakeling, as he put Town ahead with a thumping header from Hutton’s cross.
All three of the names mentioned already, Hutton, Williams, and Wakeling should be in contention for Player of the Season when that award is presented at the last game of the season.
You should add Sol Brynn into that conversation, as the 22-year-old has enjoyed a superb season between the sticks for his first campaign in the Football League.
It’s clear to everyone that he has the attributes to go on to have a long successful career, whether that’s with Middlesbrough next season depends on the outcome in the playoffs.
With Boro’s number one Zack Steffen on loan from Manchester City, the club will be looking for a replacement in the summer.
I can see him challenging for first-team football in the Championship at the Riverside, but I’m not sure he’s ready for the Premier League at such a young age.
I predict the award will be between Brynn and Hutton, with the right-back just taking the crown, but it will be a close run.
We have to hope if the talented full-back does pick up the trophy, he doesn’t do a repeat of Miguel Comminges, who in 2008 won the player of the season trophy and went on to leave for Championship side Cardiff City shortly afterward on free transfer.
Town has the upper hand in the current scenario, with Hutton having another year left on his current deal, but that won’t stop bids from coming in for the player over the summer. Let’s hope Rob Angus and whoever is in charge of recruitment at that point can bat away any interested parties.
Returning to our week of mixed fortunes, after the success of last Saturday and showing what can be produced, we come back home on Tuesday and face a side that taught us a lesson all over the pitch.
Stevenage wasn’t the best side we’ve faced this season, nor dazzling in their style of play, but as we saw in the away game, they are a shadow of their manager on the pitch.
As they executed a clear game plan, were well drilled, and tactically aware, all qualities missing from Town over the season.
It is painful to say, but credit needs to go to Steve Evans for the side he’s built and coached on a small budget at Stevenage this season, and they should now go on to achieve promotion in the last two games of the season.
Thankfully with this season coming to a close, Jody Morris, Ed Brand, and the coaching team will have a chance to implement everything mentioned above, and I’m incredibly confident they will be able to do that over the summer.
I’m encouraged by the comments made by Morris regarding recruitment, as he can see like all of us, we are lacking in experienced players this season, something he wants to address, and he will have three months to prepare and put into action his game plan, something Scott Lindsey didn’t have last summer.
It’s hard to escape the fact this season has been a big disappointment after the excitement of 2021/22, but with two games left hopefully, we can restore some pride by picking up six points and guaranteeing ourselves a top-ten finish.