Tony Mowbray's team come to Wigan with a mixed bag. An opening home weekend defeat to Leicester City, followed by a midweek defeat in the League Cup to Accrington Stanley. Then a win against Charlton and a draw last weekend to Blackpool made things look a little bit better.
It isn't like this is a team which should be struggling. Middlesbrough do have a very talented squad, and at the back end of last season Mowbray had them playing in an excellent fashion. Additions this season though have been limited with Dean Whitehead and Albert Adomah the two big names that have joined them; both of whom had been linked with moves to the DW Stadium.
Adomah with his pace and strength from the wide areas could cause Latics a problem. The player could pin back the likes of Emmerson Boyce, and Stephen Crainey and not allowing them to get forward and support the attacking players. The role of the midfielders will then be very important during the match to limit the amount of chances the wide men get to run at our full back.
The main problem that could surface is their big man up top. Lukas Jutkiewicz is a big physical presence, which much like Theo Robinson and Chris Brown, will look to force the issue on our defenders. Neither Leon Barnett nor James Perch were up to the test, the sometimes lack of understanding between the pair also didn't help.
That is the thing which for me so far has shone through, there is a massive lack of understanding in the squad. It isn't surprising considering we have ten new players and they will take time to settle into our squad, the worrying fact though is that they seem to get in each others way and mess up the smallest little things.
The biggest culprit on Tuesday was Ben Watson for me, who after a fabulous first game of the season has really tailed off, and I would expect be dropped to the bench for the game at the weekend. While like I said in defense we have two players, Barnet and Perch, who about 90% of the time are going for the same ball.
Both goals we conceded against Bournemouth where clear indications of that. The first also being a culprit of Branet not getting tight enough to his man, and those sorts of things can not happened again.
The past though is the past and it will be up to Owen Coyle to tell his players just that. Put behind us the past two games and even the Community Shield, the game on Sunday is our first game of the season and from now on we go out and we play to our supreme passing best (don't even get me started about the long ball game!).
If we play like we did for most of the second half against Doncaster then we will have none to fear, the interchanging of passing, the quite one-twos, and the off ball movement, all were a credit to the team and showed just what our team is truly capable of.
Show the passion and determination we can, and you can beat anyone in the world.