Fab­brini’s mak­ing his mark with Boro fans

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Frank Smith

AS an Italy in­ter­na­tional – with tal­ent most could only dream of – Diego Fab­brini was ex­pected to be an in­te­gral part of the Wat­ford side which charged to­wards the Premier League.

But, two frus­trat­ing years later, the enig­matic for­ward is fi­nally hav­ing his chance to shine in a pro­mo­tion-chas­ing team af­ter join­ing Ai­tor Karanka’s Mid­dles­brough.

Fab­brini’s skills have never been in doubt, but the 25-year-old strug­gled to make an im­pact in Eng­land and was sent back to Italy in his first sea­son with the Hor­nets.

A sec­ond chance ar­rived in the sum­mer of 2014, but an in­flux of sign­ings again saw the for­mer Em­poli star loaned out to Mill­wall and then Birm­ing­ham.

He quickly be­came a fans’ favourite at both clubs and the same has hap­pened again af­ter three goals in 11 out­ings since join­ing Boro on a tem­po­rary deal.

Karanka’s en­ter­tain­ers will be look­ing to make it seven wins on the bounce in all com­pe­ti­tions when they face Leeds United at the River­side to­day.

“We are an ex­cit­ing team with a lot of at­tack­ing play­ers and, for that rea­son, I think we can do very well this sea­son,” said Fab­brini.

“If we want to go up to the Premier League, then we will have to win a lot of matches and Leeds is the kind of game, at home, that we need to be do­ing well in.”

Boro are likely to be with­out Daniel Ayala and Chris­tian Stu­ani, but Leeds man­ager Uwe Rosler still ac­knowl­edged their class this week.

How­ever the for­mer Brent­ford and Wi­gan boss – who has no fresh in­jury con­cerns – is con­fi­dent United can cause an up­set.

Rosler said:“They are favourites, not only for this game but for the league and I’m not just say­ing that just be­fore we play them.

“We have noth­ing to lose and I al­ways feel my play­ers like to prove peo­ple wrong, to go out and play with no fear.”

PIC­TURES: Media Im­age

RE­MEM­BER ME? Matt Der­byshire, right, cel­e­brates Rother­ham’s opener against his old club

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