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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

The Return Of Downing

The one real highlight from today was seeing Stewart Downing finally get back on the pitch, and he didn't do too badly at all all things given.

Very few, if any of us, were expecting to see the former Boro man on the bench - in fact much confusion and hilarity occurred on the match thread in the forum when it discovered (you had to be there) - however he did indeed replace a booked Steve Sidwell and get just over 20 minutes on the pitch today.

Speaking on the official site Monny conceded it'll be a few weeks yet before Downing is fully match fit and able to play 90 minutes but described it as a 'big plus' that he was now able to play some part in games and attempt to get back some form after Petrov crocked him in our match against Boro last season.

'In terms of real match fitness, he is a bit of a distance away from that.

'I think if he stays clear of injury we'll see the best of him from Christmas onwards.'

It does open up interesting options for us, many fans are torn on Petrov, NRC, Sidders. Until the mental right back shenanigans again Milner being able to come into the middle to give us a bit more thrust through the centre of the pitch did look promising - also equally at points Ash ended up in the middle so you did wonder who was meant to be where.

But the potential for Milner's drive and the flexibility to move Ash around the pitch properly shouldn't be sneered at. If nothing else a fit Downing will allow Ash to be taken out of the fray every now and then when things aren't working for him which can only benefit us.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 21 2009

Time: 8:49PM

Your Comments

How can it be the return of Downing?
Gordonsleftboot
How can it be the return of Downing?
Gordonsleftboot
Great to see Downing get on the pitch (after his return to playing since being injured).
jonah
Great to see Downing get on the pitch (after his return to playing since being injured).
jonah
he's returned to playing football Gordonsleftboot? :o) Great to see him on and playing, might even be able to get a photo for the site now!
The Fear
he's returned to playing football Gordonsleftboot? :o) Great to see him on and playing, might even be able to get a photo for the site now!
The Fear
It's not the return is it though, it's his debut.
lorenzo
It's not the return is it though, it's his debut.
lorenzo
Is this Pedantic day and no one told me?!? Read Fieldy's first line. Downing finally returns to the pitch. He's returned to football. And for the benefit of the pendants... Fieldy you c*** ! lol
the fear
Is this Pedantic day and no one told me?!? Read Fieldy's first line. Downing finally returns to the pitch. He's returned to football. And for the benefit of the pendants... Fieldy you c*** ! lol
the fear
Nevermind all that rubbish, I think he had a good display even if only 20 minutes, I think he'll be great for us.
johnmurphy3112
Nevermind all that rubbish, I think he had a good display even if only 20 minutes, I think he'll be great for us.
johnmurphy3112
excited to see how he does for us Johnmurphy, never paid that much attention to him whilst at Boro as I've never had any interest in Boro, but could be a great player for us!
the fear
excited to see how he does for us Johnmurphy, never paid that much attention to him whilst at Boro as I've never had any interest in Boro, but could be a great player for us!
the fear
When he is fully fir he will definitely start every game I think. How good he turns out to be will depend on how MON 'models' the team to accommodate him. There is a lot of talk about Milner moving into the middle, personally I would like to see Ash being given a free roll behind Gabby. Whatever happens, it has to be a plus for us to have him fit and in the team.
jonah
When he is fully fir he will definitely start every game I think. How good he turns out to be will depend on how MON 'models' the team to accommodate him. There is a lot of talk about Milner moving into the middle, personally I would like to see Ash being given a free roll behind Gabby. Whatever happens, it has to be a plus for us to have him fit and in the team.
jonah
Think MON only played Sidwell because he knew that he could take him off without any tantrums unlike Reo-Coker. He knows that DJ Stu will play there eventually.
Villan444
Think MON only played Sidwell because he knew that he could take him off without any tantrums unlike Reo-Coker. He knows that DJ Stu will play there eventually.
Villan444
 

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