Keeper error sends Middlesbrough to defeat

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MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray is in danger of sounding like a broken record after yet another defeat.

Boro were considered strong promotion candidates from the Championship not so long ago – but they have won just twice since the turn of the year in the league and have now not tasted victory in their last 10 outings on the road.

The visiting manager was left to bemoan a familiar tale as his team failed to find the net for a fourth time in their last five contests.

“I don’t think there was much in the game,” said Mowbray. “I thought we were probably the better team probably created more chances. I thought it was a tight game, not much in it.”

Mowbray pointed the finger of blame straight at his Jason Steele for the winning goal from Robbie Brady’s free-kick, the keeper merely helping it into the net.

“It’s straight at him. Whether it’s took a bobble off the pitch or bounced high, I think it’s straight at him and ended up in the roof of the net,” said Mowbray.

“Thats football, that’s the way it’s going for us at the moment.

“The statistics are quite damming of how many games we’ve won in the last 14, 15 and yet we can look back at a lot of those games, like today, and think we didn’t get what we deserved.

“But you’ve got to put the ball in the net when you have opportunities and we haven’t done that consistently enough.”

There was nothing between the teams, leaving Hull boss Steve Bruce a relieved man after watching his nervous side claim three points which kept them in the automatic promotion places.

The Tigers boss conceded the after-effects of Tuesday’s home loss to third-placed Watford, in which the hosts missed the opportunity to open up a seven-point gap, plagued his side throughout the first half against an out-of-form Middlesbrough.

“Tuesday was a huge disappointment to us all and I’m going to admit (on) Thursday and Friday they were still disappointed,” said Bruce.

“It really took us to half-time to get going again, but we showed something, a bit of resilience and that determination to get a result. We don’t want to be sitting through too many of them.”

On match-winner Brady’s fortunate strike, Bruce joked: “I’ve heard some nonsense that he watched somebody do it, whether it was (Cristiano) Ronaldo or (Gareth) Bale, and bounced it in front of the keeper. Looks to me like it hit a divot and the goalkeeper made a mess of it.

“But we needed a break and thankfully we’ve got it. It’s put us in a really, really strong position, a good position and it’s in our hands with five to play.”

Hull: Stockdale, Chester, Faye, Bruce (Rosenior 45), Elmohamady, Evans, Koren, Quinn, Brady, Gedo (Simpson 53), Boyd (Fathi 80). Subs Not Used: Jakupovic, Dawson, Cairney, Proschwitz. Booked: Evans, Faye, Rosenior, Stockdale. Goals: Brady 62.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Rhys Williams, Woodgate (Bikey 46), Halliday, Ameobi (McDonald 67), Leadbitter, McEachran, Haroun, Carayol (Zemmama 67), Miller. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Bailey, Jutkiewicz, Main.

Att: 17,901 Ref: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire).