sport news Middlesbrough 4-0 Preston: Isaiah Jones scores twice in first-half blitz ... trends now

sport news Middlesbrough 4-0 Preston: Isaiah Jones scores twice in first-half blitz ... trends now
sport news Middlesbrough 4-0 Preston: Isaiah Jones scores twice in first-half blitz ... trends now

sport news Middlesbrough 4-0 Preston: Isaiah Jones scores twice in first-half blitz ... trends now

Middlesbrough fans could have been forgiven for rubbing their eyes in disbelief as the goals flew past hapless Preston here.

Michael Carrick’s side had only mustered seven in eight home outings prior to this blitz of potential play-off rivals.

Finally, attacking intent was combined with lethal finishing at the Riverside as Boro continued their slow but purposeful climb up the Championship table.

For the first time this season, the scoreboards here clicked above two goals for the home team.

They don’t have much trouble scoring on the road - netting four times in the derby at Sunderland three against both Watford and Plymouth.

Isaiah Jones scored twice as Middlesbrough recorded an impressive victory over Preston

Isaiah Jones scored twice as Middlesbrough recorded an impressive victory over Preston

Despite missing some of their attackers through injury, Boro had far too much for a Preston side who started the evening in the top six.

Isaiah Jones scored twice, while Rav van den Berg and Alex Bangura were also on target, as a depleted Boro made it five home wins from six - only this time with a more emphatic winning margin.

‘Performance-wise, we have been better but we were ruthless, we looked dangerous and defended well to limit them,’ Carrick said. ‘I was delighted with that and I can’t fault the boys’ attitude.

‘I was confident going into the game, they were ready and there was a good balance to the team even though it was quite new. I thought we’d be in good shape, so I’m really happy.’

‘We have got eight senior lads out tonight - the makings of a pretty good team. But that is why the squad is vital, you can’t make excuses, you have to make the best of it.’

While Preston dropped out of the play-offs - something they’ll hope to fix in Friday night’s quick turnaround game against QPR - Boro are moving in the right direction.

Having started the season in a troubling manner, Carrick has put things right and they should be capable of at least matching last season’s play-off semi-final appearance.

Saturday’s trip to Elland Road for a grudge match with Leeds will properly test those credentials.

Jones rounded off a slick move to open the scoring for the home side in the 16th minute

Jones rounded off a slick move to open the scoring for the home side in the 16th minute

With temperatures barely above freezing on Teesside, those who’d wrapped up to sit at the Riverside craved some goals to warm the cockles.

It was quickly apparent that Boro were in the mood, with Preston barely able to get out of first gear in the first-half.

Middlesbrough needed just 16 minutes to take advantage, with Jones rounding off a slick move.

The ball was worked from left to right, with Jonny Howson finding Dan Barlaser. He side-stepped and kept it moving to Matt Crooks, who signalled for Jones to make a dart.

His slide-rule pass was perfect, dissecting two Preston defenders and Jones had the presence of mind to commit keeper Freddie Woodman before rolling it home left-footed.

That goal wiped out Boro’s

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