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No point criticising defenders - Mowbray
TONY MOWBRAY refused to pile the pressure on his defenders this week, insisting that they did not need to be told when they had made mistakes.
An own goal from Jonathan Woodgate against Bournemouth last week was the difference between a draw and a victory with Mowbray’s Middlesbrough side settling for a 3-3 draw, their fifth of the campaign.
Turning those draws into wins is at top of Mowbray’s list, and he does not feel that highlighting his defenders’ errors is the way forward.
“The players are a fantastic group, they’re very positive, said Mowbray, who takes his side to Queens Park Rangers today. “I don’t need to do anything with them other than prepare for the next game.
“Footballers don’t need to be told when they’re not doing well. There are plenty of positives to work with, no kneejerk reaction to drawing 3-3 with Bournemouth. You’re always looking for a reaction in the next game win or lose, let’s go to QPR and see how we get on.
“I took the positives from how the team played, it was a very good passing football performance, to score the goals we did, to create the chances we did, was positive. The only negative was the nature of the goals we conceded. It was a culmination of disappointments from the Forest game, we’ve got two points instead of six.
“It’s something we’ve talked about, something we’re working on and it’s something we’ll improve.”
Middlesbrough sit in 16th place in the Championship with eight points from their eight games played so far, but could have found themselves in and around the top six had they turned those draws into victories. Mowbray feels his team are making progress despite some disappointing results.
“The team’s performed at a consistently good level yet we have been punished. Last Saturday wasn’t a one-off, we went two-up at Forest and drew as well,” said Mowbray, who hopes to make a breakthrough in the loan market this week having been frustrated for a search for new blood.
“There are areas of the pitch where we need to work on, we need to strengthen, create extra competition for the places in the team, as every manager tells me after a match we’re as good as they’ve played yet we have to start turning these draws into victories.
“If we can do that we won’t be far away. We have to do it on the grass, not in the office after the game. There’s things for us to work on yet I feel we’re moving in the right direction.”
QPR have been the team to beat in the opening stages of the season, and while they are yet to be beaten in the division, Mowbray feels that his side have every chance against Harry Redknapp’s outfit.
“If you finish anywhere above QPR you have a huge chance of promotion,” said Mowbray. “QPR have been showing how strong they are in the league.
"They’re not free-scoring, of course, they win 1-0 every week, there’s been a huge turnaround of players, the positive for Harry is that they had players they could sell or move on, players coveted by other clubs, a £12m transfer of Chris Samba has allowed him to bring some high-quality footballers.
“It’s as tough as we’re going to get, and yet they’re not free-scoring, we’ve scored in every game we’ve played, so if we can keep this run going we’ll have a tight football match.
“I’ve watched three out of their four last games. Yeovil were unfortunate last weekend not to get anything, they lost 1-0, Brighton got a 0-0 at Loftus Road where they created chances, Birmingham went there in a tight game. If we can continue scoring, hopefully we can come out on top.”
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