Boro wary of threat from QPR

Sunderland Echo - - Football -

Boss Garry Monk ex­pects a tough test for his Mid­dles­brough side when QPR visit the River­side Sta­dium to­mor­row.

Boro sit in ninth place in the Sky Bet Cham­pi­onship af­ter pick­ing up four points in suc­ces­sive away games, win­ning 3-0 at Bolton and draw­ing 0-0 at As­ton Villa.

Back on home turf, Monk has read­ied his men for a bat­tle against a QPR side who are level on points with Boro, be­hind only on goal dif­fer­ence.

“I’ve got a lot of re­spect for Ian Hol­loway,” said Monk (pic­tured).

“He’s an ex­pe­ri­enced man­ager and when­ever you come up against one of his teams it’s dif­fi­cult.

“His sides are al­ways ver­sa­tile and un­pre­dictable. We have to be ready for any­thing – prepa­ra­tion is ev­ery­thing – but the main fo­cus is on us and hope­fully we can come away with the right re­sult.”

Asked about Boro’s im­prove­ments, the for­mer Leeds boss added: “We’re grow­ing, and we’re see­ing im­prove­ments from all the play­ers. That comes down to the hard work that we’re putting in. But there’s still a long way to go to where we want to be and what we can achieve.

“Tues­day was a re­ally good marker for the play­ers. The feel­ing af­ter was that they’d gone through it to­gether and come out the other side.”

Boro have man­aged seven points from their first three home games, with­out a goal con­ceded, with Monk say­ing: “We want to re­turn to the River­side and con­tinue mak­ing it a tough place for teams to come. That’s vi­tally im­por­tant.”

Striker Martin Braith­waite is clos­ing in on a re­turn.

Braith­waite is back in train­ing af­ter a ham­string prob­lem, but to­mor­row is likely to come too soon.

Monk re­vealed: “He’ll re­join the group full-time next week.”

Rudy Gest­ede has had two op­er­a­tions to re­lieve bleed­ing in a dead leg.

AdamaTraor­eis­banned for three games af­ter the FA re­jected Boro’s ap­peal against his mid­week red card. He misses out against QPR, Villa (Carabao Cup), and Ful­ham.

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