FULL of Christmas goodwill and Christmas pudding we battled through a blizzard near the Little House on the Prairie to reach the blue skies of Teeside.

After a superb lunch at one of my favourite away-day watering holes, the Royal Oak at Great Ayton, we headed for the Riverside.

Hopes were high for Wanderers to at least take a point after the heart-warming win against Cardiff.

The Middlesbrough fans were saying Gary Monk had gone for an interview for the Swansea job and the chairman sacked him when he found out.

At least that explains the unique sacking of both managers after their match at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday – and why we were facing Tony Pulis again.

Phil Parkinson brought Craig Noone in for Will Buckley as the only change.

Unfortunately we didn’t seem up for it against Boro. We only survived an embarrassing one-sided first half due to poor finishing by the Middlesbrough strikers

We could not have complained had we been three or four down by the time the half-time whistle blew.

In the second half, Middlesbrough soon found the target again and it was game over.

We battled hard to get back in the game but our lack of quality meant we created very little. It was very disappointing in the end.

Fortunately most if the teams around us lost as well but we need to start picking points up away from home yo get back in the mix.

It is going to be a fight to the finish this season and we are potentially in a battle with five other teams.

It looks like players will leave in the January sales. The problem is being able to get the players we don’t want off the wage bill.

Only our better players are going to attract any transfer fees. How we do business in the January transfer window is going to be crucial to our survival chances.

We need a creative midfield player and someone to bang the goals in.

Or do we take a chance on some of our youngsters like Connor Hall, Jeff King, Alex Parry and Jake Turner? We have to come out of the January transfer window as a stronger team to stand any chance of survival because this team as it stands is not good enough to stay up.

But we live in hope. You shouldn’t be a football fan if you’re not an optimistic.

So let’s stay positive and go and blunt the Blades at Bramhall Lane on Saturday.