Bruce looks for a reaction at Boro

Steve Bruce pulled no punches in his assessment of his team’s second half performance at Kenilworth Road on Saturday and has made it clear that he is looking for a reaction as Albion take on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The travelling fans may be looking enviously at the opposition bench where the manager that Albion should have appointed last summer will be sitting. The earlier meeting between the sides at the Hawthorns in November proved to be Neil Warnock’s last in charge of Boro, and since Chris Wilder was appointed, they have won nine of sixteen games in all competitions progressing to the fifth round of the FA Cup and moving from 14th to 7th in the Championship table. It has been a remarkable turnaround that has seen the Teessiders take 27 points from 14 games while Albion have taken just 14 points from 15 games in the same period.

It is the sort of turnaround that the Baggies will need if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top six, but there seems little chance of that based on that second half at Luton. Somehow, Bruce needs to find some characters in the team that are able to show some fight in adversity while also trying to repair the fragile confidence throughout the squad.

Bruce has suggested that he is prepared to make personnel changes for the trip to the Riverside, but he has limited options if he really wants to make a change. The likes of Taylor Gardner-Hickman and Dara O’Shea might be obvious choices, but whether he will be prepared to throw any of the U23 squad into the fray is unclear – it may be popular give the fans’ general opinion of the first team squad but it may not be the right thing to do for the long term development of the younger players.

The club is at it’s lowest ebb since Gary Megson took over and I can’t imagine any fans will be expecting anything other than a defeat at the Riverside. If Bruce can somehow garner some sort of reaction and get a result, maybe there will be a little hope.


Albion have won just one of their last seven meetings with Middlesbrough, a 1-0 win at the Riverside thanks to a goal from Hal Robson-Kanu in October 2019. Prior to that, however, the Baggies won four successive matches against the Smoggies including the memorable 5-0 win on Teesside in September 2009. Unsurprisingly, that is Albion’s record win away to Boro and was achieved thanks to a brace from Chris Brunt and further goals from Youssouf Mulumbu, Roman Bednár and Jerome Thomas.

Middlesbrough’s record win over Albion was the 4-0 victory in April 2005 that proved to be a minor blip in the Baggies’ Great Escape efforts – Szilárd Németh scored twice with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Stewart Downing also finding the net.

Since then, Albion have only lost one of the subsequent seven meetings at the Riverside with Jonas Olsson’s goal securing a Premier League victory in September 2008 and three games finishing all square including a 2-2 draw in the fifth round of the FA Cup in February 2007 when Kevin Phillips and Diomansy Kamara were on target for the visitors and Curtis Davies was sent off in the 90th minute. The replay finished 1-1 with Boro progressing through to the quarter finals on penalties.

Tuesday’s match will be the 50th meeting between the sides on Teesside and the 11th at the Riverside Stadium. The Baggies record of three wins in eleven at Boro’s new ground is significantly better than their record at Ayresome Park. Just four wins in thirty-six visits and only one since the Second World War, a 1-0 win in 1952 thanks to a goal from George Lee. The other three wins all came in the early 1920s.

At Boro’s original ground, Linthorpe Road, Albion were unbeaten, winning two and drawing one of their three visits before the club moved to Ayresome Park in the summer of 1903.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion W L L L D L
Middlesbrough L W D D W L

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

6 Nov 2021 – League Championship
West Brom 1 (Diangana)
Middlesbrough 1 (Coburn)

Last meeting at Middlesbrough

19 Oct 2019 – League Championship
Middlesbrough 0
West Brom 1 (Robson-Kanu)

Last win

19 Oct 2019 – League Championship
Middlesbrough 0
West Brom 1 (Robson-Kanu)

Albion’s Record against Middlesbrough

  Overall   Away
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 93 32 22 39 111 122   46 8 11 27 38 75
FA Cup 5 2 2 1 5 4   3 1 1 1 3 3
Total 98 34 24 40 116 126   49 9 12 28 41 78

If you cannot see the tables, click here.

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