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TV date with Blues is must-win game.

Byline: By Anthony Vicker's

Everton on Sunday is a watershed game if the boss is to win the waverers over.

A large minority of Boro fans are now becoming increasingly vocal in their dissatisfaction at the current situation.

A poor display against the Blue Scousers - especially live on telly - could tip the crowd over into very critical mass.

Anger at a timid end to last term, frustration at the failures in the summer transfer market and the poor start give impetus to a revolt that has spread through the phone-ins and message boards and is now gathering support in the pubs and clubs of Teesside.

That anger boiled over at Bolton where the first audible cries of "McClaren Out" were heard among travelling fans.

It is hard to put that genie back in the bottle but it is possible - with stirring and entertaining football at the Riverside.

With a team that shows pride and passion and sparks the crowd into full voice and makes them believe a dream season is still possible.

And of course, given the quality in the squad, it still is.

But fans need to see evidence of that now or there is a very real danger morale and crowds will evaporate.

A nerve-settling win against Everton and good displays against Chelsea and Newcastle are imperative now if the fledgling army of boo-boys is to be headed off.

A stuttering start, early goals conceded or a lack of spirit against Everton could be the signal for cat-calls to begin.

And the signal for the season to descend into a fruitless uncivil war among the crowd.

That can never help. The game is critical for the outcome of the season, McClaren's reign and ultimately the future of the Riverside Revolution.

Let's get behind the team.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 16, 2003
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