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Boro are Canaries' bogey side - Ashton; FOOTBALL.

FORMER Norwich striker Dean Ashton believes Boro have established themselves as the Canaries' "bogey team" this season.

With Boro winning at Brentford on Friday night and Norwich battling to a 1-1 draw at Ipswich in the other playoff semi-final, the two sides who finished third and fourth in the table going head-to-head in the final remains a possibility.

And although Norwich pipped Boro to third place on the final day of the season, Ashton suggests Aitor Karanka's side could have the edge after winning both games against the Canaries this season.

"I think Norwich have got the strongest squad of the teams left in the play-offs but Middlesbrough have been their bogey team this season," said Ashton Alex Neil has only lost three games since taking charge of Norwich but those defeats have all come at Carrow Road.

The Canaries are firm favourites to get the better of their neighbours Ipswich and book a Wembley date, but Ashton pointed to Norwich's inability to break Boro down on home turf as a warning shot ahead of the second leg against the Tractor Boys.

"With it being 1-1, I strongly fancy Norwich to have too much for Ipswich this weekend," said Ashton, who made almost 50 appearances for the Canaries before a big money move to West Ham.

"The only concern is that of all of the games that I have actually been to at Carrow Road, two of them - against Middlesbrough and Wigan - they have lost 1-0. "Both times they had all the ball and all the possession, "They could not break the other team down and the opposition played very direct.

"So that is going to be the worry for the second leg, they are going to have the possession and they need to turn that into chances and goals."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 13, 2015
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