After seeing his team dumped out of the FA Cup in an embarrassing fashion at the hands of League Two side Newport, Boro manager Tony Pulis made no excuses for his players.
Boro were clearly the worse side on Tuesday as two goals for the home side ended their cup run.
What’s worse is the fact that the scoreline flatters Middlesbrough, as Newport could have beaten them with even bigger a margin had they taken their chances in the first half.
So woeful were Boro in front of goal that despite facing a team which has shipped in 48 goals in 29 matches in the league this season, they managed just one shot on target in the 90 minutes.
He said: “The whole occasion, in the first half they completely and utterly ran over us.”
“It was bad night really but I don’t want to take anything away from Newport.”
“We’ve got the best away record in the Championship. The majority of away games we’ve been very good. Today was a different challenge, different conditions and we didn’t cope with it.”
There were no mitigating circumstances for Boro as Pulis had named a strong side for the Cup fixture, fielding regulars like Britt Assombalonga, Jordan Hugill and Jonny Howson.
“I came here to be strong, to give us a chance, play with two up front but it just wasn’t to be, They were better than us.”
“It’s a great result for Newport, for the town, for everybody else.”
“I’m not concerned about whether we wanted it enough. Newport were better than us.”
So scathing was Pulis in his criticism after seeing his team put in a poor performance that he even went on to question their salaries.
“You can make excuses, I can sit here all day and talk about the delay, the pitch, the rain, the wind. They get paid good money to play a game of football.”
Pulis didn’t throw his players into the bus though as he claimed this game as his team has done well away from home in the past few months.
“As much as I’m disappointed, you can’t criticise the team too much in respect of what they’ve done away from home.”
“There’s an awful lot of disappointed staff and players, I hope. We’ve gone to West Brom on Saturday and won, the fans will have been a lot happier then they were today.”
Middlesbrough next face 2nd place Leeds United at home in the Championship on Sunday in a fixture that would go a long way in determining their fate in the race for promotion to the Premier League.