Boro Heed Mowbray Warning
Middlesbrough found themselves in trouble following the dramatic late loss against Swansea last week, as boss Tony Mowbray lamented his side for their failings on the pitch.
After losing out to a late Craig Beattie strike, Mowbray had some harsh words for his side.
"We have shot ourselves in the foot. It comes down to some very poor decision-making on our part.”
“When you analyse the game there were huge problems. We had a game plan and to a large extent it worked but then we made some very silly mistakes.” Mowbray said of his side that had undone all of their good work against promotion chasing Swansea and lurched back towards the relegation zone.
Come Saturday’s game against Millwall, Boro were in danger of a repeat performance. 2-1 up with twelve minutes remaining, they conceded a goal from a Hameur Bouazza free kick in a frantic second half. But this time round there was a happy ending for the visitors as Leroy Lita’s effort sealed the deal in the closing stages of the match. Lita has been excellent of late, and football bets placed on him scoring regularly for the remainder of the season would not be unwise.
Mowbray will still have concerns about his side. When he joined the club he bemoaned the lack of atmosphere and fight around the club, but having addressed those issues somewhat he will be aware of an increasingly leaky defence that has conceded seven goals in the last two matches.
The former Celtic boss will believe the lapses in concentration prove to be an exception rather than the rule having shipped far fewer goals than their relegation rivals around them. He will be happy with the performance of Andrew Davies, and will also hope on the loss of Gary O’Neill to West Ham has not affect his midfield stability too badly.
But he will no doubt be encouraged about his team learning from their mistakes in the previous game – not that it didn’t take a reminder at half time to jog their memories.
At half-time the gaffer said a few words," Tony McMahon, who found the net at Millwall, said.
"He half questioned us, said 'Can you stand up to the battle?' and in the second half we answered his question. We stood up to the battle and got a massive three points.” He added.
If his side can adapt and listen to Mowbray, who proved his worth at West Brom with consistent displays of easy on the eye attacking football in both the Championship and the Premier League, Boro will see their league position gradually improve.
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Mowbray now faces league leaders QPR, before promotion chasing Nottingham Forest visit the Riverside. A difficult run of games in which Boro will be football betting underdogs at a crucial time of the season, but if the 49-year-old has any pretensions of making the club challenge for promotion in the future, they must show the attacking qualities they displayed against Swansea, and the dogged determination on display against Millwall.