Other than confidence, there were really only two differences between the teams yesterday. The first was that if you are going to make a pass to a team mate, do just that; don't pass it straight to a member of the other team. Two of Boro's goals came from Stephens and Morrison, who both forgot this simple truth, and gifted the ball to the opposition who promptly strolled into our penalty area and scored. At least Morrison acknowledged his error, whilst Stephens meanwhile slunk off back to anonymity in midfield
The second difference was that you must take your chances. The scoreline may suggest that this was one way traffic, but it really wasn't. Charlton had as many chances as Boro, but crucially failed to convert any, other than a solitary Hulse effort early in the first half. Given that Charlton have been making a habit of not starting to play until the second half of games, you would have thought that an early goal and a solid if unspectacular first half would have given the team the launch pad for a welcome three points at home, but even at 1-0 up you just knew that it wasn't going to be like that.
Middlesboro converted pretty much everything that came their way, whilst Charlton laboured with little reward for their efforts. Indeed, it could have been worse if Hamer hadn't made at least two point blank saves, with a post denying Boro on another occasion. It is difficult to find anything new to say about Charlton's plight, or what can be done with our flimsy midfield that Powell is not already trying. The truth is that we are probably only a couple of players short of a decent Championship side, but unfortunately the shortage is in the same part of the field.
So, what to do on Tuesday against the league leaders? My own feeling is that Jackson should play at left back with the usual cast of Hamer, Solly, Morrison, and Cort making up the rest of the back line. I would put Haynes at right mid with Harriott on the opposite flank. I would probably try Kerkar and Hollands in the middle with Dervitte in front of the back four. Hulse would be on his own up top. One thing that Boro were very good at yesterday was speed on the break, where they quite frequently outnumbered us in situations like that, and it was all down to how fast they were to support the striker. Perhaps with Haynes and Harriott, we may have the raw pace to do the same to Cardiff on Tuesday. Here's hoping!