ANX­IOUS AL­BERT MAY RUE RE­QUEST

Boro hit three to see off the Owls

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Si­mon Wal­ton

PER­HAPS Al­bert Adomah will be re­con­sid­er­ing his de­ci­sion to sub­mit a trans­fer re­quest af­ter Mid­dles­brough’s em­phatic vic­tory at Sheffield Wed­nes­day.

With Adomah nowhere to be seen fol­low­ing last week­end’s dress­ing-room bust up with Ai­tor Karanka, Boro proved they can still con­tend for pro­mo­tion with­out the Ghana­ian in­ter­na­tional, who is ex­pected to leave Teesside be­fore Tues­day’s trans­fer dead­line.

Adam Reach, Diego Fab­brini and Chris­tian Stu­ani were on tar­get as they claimed their first league away win of the sea­son and surged back into the play-off po­si­tions.

Marco Ma­tias’ de­flected sec­ond-half strike briefly hauled Sheffield Wed­nes­day level, but the home side were sec­ond best through­out as Boro pro­duced the kind of slick counter-at­tack­ing dis­play that be­came their trade­mark as they reached last sea­son’s play-off fi­nal.

Karanka said: “Peo­ple were re­mind­ing me that Mid­dles­brough have not won here very of­ten, but you could see that the play­ers’ per­for­mance on the pitch was much more im­por­tant than what has hap­pened in the past.

“It was a very im­por­tant vic­tory for us. It was more than three points be­cause af­ter last week­end’s de­feat at home against Bristol City we needed to show ev­ery­body that we are not the team that played in that game.”

Adomah’s non-ap­pear­ance at Hills­bor­ough was an­tic­i­pated af­ter he sub­mit­ted a for­mal trans­fer re­quest on Thurs­day, but At­dhe Nuhiu’s ab­sence from Sheffield Wed­nes­day’s start­ing line-up was much more of a sur­prise given that he had scored in both of last sea­son’s games with Mid­dles­brough.

Karanka said: “It was a sur­prise to see the Sheffield Wed­nes­day team be­cause I ex­pected them to play with Nuhiu. He cre­ated a lot of prob­lems last sea­son, here and at the River­side.

“I was ex­pect­ing him to play, and it was a sur­prise when he did not. In the sec­ond half, Nuhiu came onto the pitch and things were more dif­fi­cult be­cause we know how dif­fi­cult he is to stop.”

With Nuhiu on the bench, Boro dom­i­nated the open­ing 45 min­utes and should re­ally have been more than one goal clear at the break.

The opener ar­rived two min- utes be­fore the in­ter­val, with Reach drilling home a low fin­ish af­ter the Wed­nes­day de­fence failed to deal with Grant Lead­bit­ter’s in­swing­ing cor­ner.

The home side en­joyed their best spell of the game at the start of the sec­ond half, and lev­elled shortly af­ter the hour mark when Ma­tias’ shot de­flected off Ben Gib­son and looped over Dimi Kon­stan­topou­los.

Boro boast a host of at­tack­ing mid­field­ers adept at play­ing on the break though, and it was only three min­utes be­fore they swept up­field to re­claim their ad­van­tage.

Sub­sti­tute David Nu­gent played Fab­brini into the clear down the left-hand side, and the Ital­ian, who is on a sea­son-long loan from Wat­ford, found the far cor­ner of the net.

Nu­gent was in­volved in Boro’s third, nod­ding the ball into Stu­ani’s path to en­able to Uruguayan to drill home and Adam For­shaw al­most claimed a fourth as he headed against the post in stop­page time.

Wed­nes­day boss Car­los Car­val­hal said: “The big les­son is we must play from the be­gin­ning and not give 45 min­utes to the op­po­si­tion.

“They are one of the strong­est teams, but we didn’t play for 45 min­utes. We were very soft, gave the ball away too of­ten and this was re­ally bad for us.”

PIC­TURES: Media Im­age

SAINTLY STRIKE: Chris­tian Stu­ani puts Mid­dles­brough 3-1 up

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