FOR long periods against Everton Boro played some of their best football of the season. But in the second half it fell away and Joseph Job for one is determined it will not happen this weekend against Birmingham City. « We deserved at least a draw last week, in the first half we were magnificent, » he reflects
« We should have scored two or three times, when we are in that frame of mind we have to score.
« We didn’t score enough, they equalised and I think that was the killer, that hit us hard.
« If we had been two or three-nil up at that stage they wouldn’t have come back into the game, in fact I think we could have gone on to win by four or five.
« If we get in that position against Birmingham on Saturday we must make it count this time, we cannot let all that good work go to waste. »
Well as they played at Goodison, Job recognises there is still much room for improvement.
« There is a lot to work on in our game, » he comments.
« It is good, we are doing well, but we can do better and that’s what the manager expects from us.
« We are still near the start of the season and we still have new signings playing their way in.
« The signs are encouraging, look at the results. Massimo is scoring goals, Geremi is playing well, George has brought strength to the team, it is looking very good.
« We are building a team here and I think we are building it in the right way, we haven’t seen our best eleven yet. »
Job himself is like a new signing. After failing to break through into the side this time last season he spent several weeks in the wilderness before spending the final five months of the last campaign on loan with French side Metz.
He has returned a different player and one of the chief reasons for his improved wellbeing on and off the pitch is the arrival of Geremi.
Room-mates when on international duty with Cameroon, the two have undoubtedly helped each other in the early weeks of the season with Middlesbrough.
« We know each other very well, » smiles Job. « We have known each other a long time and get on very well and that counts for a lot. I know the way he plays, he knows the way I play.
« It is the first taste of English football for Geremi and for me it’s another start.
« I didn’t really enjoy my first two years here but now I am enjoying myself, he’s a new boy and a little bit of me is as well.
« It’s a nice story. »
Birmingham City will test the resolve of both Cameroon stars, arriving at the Riverside on the back of four pretty decent results.
After losing their opening two games, Steve Bruce’s side have gone on to draw at Everton, win at home to Leeds, come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Liverpool before beating arch-rivals Aston Villa 3-0 at St Andrews on Monday.
« I’m not surprised they have done well, » says Job. « Teams when they are first promoted are always hard to beat. They work hard and it’s very difficult to play against them.
« But we’re not scared of them. It’s about us, our team, our quality and what we can do against any team and I’m very confident about that.
« At home, the supporters are confident. They think we have a good team and we have, but now we have to prove it. »