For Tony Mowbray, it must be frustrating to see Kris Boyd and Scott McDonald fail to live up to their reputations of once free-scoring SPL strikers at their previous clubs – Rangers and Celtic respectively. It just shows that the transition from Scottish football to English football is much harder than first thought especially from the Scottish Premier League to the Championship.
For Boyd and McDonald, both must have seen the bright lights of the Premier League as they sat down and talked to Gordon Strachan, with his promotion speech, before signing for Middlesbrough. That dream of playing in the top-tier of English football has been put on the back-burner for now whilst the two forwards struggle to find their feet in the Championship.
Boro fans were excited to see the likes of Boyd and McDonald sign for the club under the guidance of Strachan, but have now seen that burning light for a goalscorer fade as they continue to misfire. The problem Tony Mowbray now faces is the task of getting the two strikers to hold their own in this league and ultimately get them scoring goals like they did in Scotland. Boyd has apparently found it difficult in recent weeks because of interest of the pitch about a possible move away from the Riverside during the January transfer window.
“My head’s been all over the place, but I’m not making excuses,” Boyd told BBC Tees last week. “I know myself that I need to do more and hopefully I can get my head down and start banging in goals on a regular basis.”
We live and hope by those comments, but for me it looks like Boyd’s form will continue to stutter until the end of the season. A good bet would see him signing for Birmingham City in the summer – until then we can only keep our fingers crossed that he can find some form and win us some games.
Scott McDonald has had injury problems this season, to be fair to him, which has seen his performances dip far below of what we saw of him last season. The added factor that we are not heading towards a major international football tournament this summer has halted the breaks on McDonald’s desire to make an impact this season. Last season’s World Cup year saw energy and desire from the little Aussie, but this season there is nobody to impress or end goal for the Australian international – he’s just picking up his quite hefty wage and plodding along.
Mowbray has obviously seen the underachievement in the two former SPL strikers this season, hence the inclusion of Leroy Lita as the team’s driving force up top. As long as Lita continues to show some enthusiasm we might be ok come the end of the season (not relegated), but one thing is for sure – we can’t hold any hope that Boyd or McDonald will hit the goal trail any time soon in a red shirt. Although, I will be the first to take my hat off to them if they put in a performance at Millwall tomorrow afternoon.
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