Middlesbrough can bounce back – Jason Steele

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KEEPER Jason Steele aims to help Middlesbrough bounce back from their opening-day defeat at Barnsley.

Boro face Burnley at the Riverside tomorrow night after losing 1-0 at Oakwell on Saturday.

Steele made three outstanding saves to deny Craig Davies a second goal for the hosts, following his impressive 45th-minute winner.

“We’ve got to make sure we bounce back on Tuesday and give our fans something to shout about,” he said.

“It’s the start of a long season and we’re going to come across days like this.

“It’s going to be hard, but the players have to stick together and that goes for everyone at the club.”

Boro, who looked well below par, huffed and puffed late on but could not find an equaliser.

“I felt pre-season had gone pretty well, but, on the big stage, we didn’t perform at the level we’ve been showing,” boss Tony Mowbray admitted.

“On the first day of the season, you get those tight games, but even though we pushed hard we didn’t manage to force one in late on.

“We lacked a bit of bravery to play at times and I see that as a strength of the team.

“We’ve got plenty to work on. We’re all disappointed, of course – you don’t want to go through a season losing many games and we’ve gone and lost the first one.

“We have to put that right tomorrow night.”

Boro, backed by a 3,800-strong away following, were the quickest to settle and Arca, Emmanuel Ledesma and Grant Leadbitter all peppered the Barnsley goal with early shots from distance.

But Tykes keeper David Gonzalez was only called into action once.

Barnsley should have taken a 16th-minute lead, but defender Stephen Foster headed over from a good position.

But they were rewarded for their endeavour with the vital breakthrough on the brink of half-time as after a neat interchange between David Perkins and Marlon Harewood, Perkins found Davies and he fired a low shot across Steele and into the bottom corner.

Boro’s triple substitution made no difference to proceedings, though Ledesma had a chance to equalise late on, but, only four yards out, the summer signing could not get any power behind his effort and Gonzalez saved.

Barnsley: Gonzalez, Golbourne Foster, Wiseman, Stones, Done (Etuhu), Perkins, Cywka, Mellis (Dawson), Davies, Harewood. Subs: Lidakevicius, Hassell, Collins, Digby, Dagnall.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Friend (Halliday), Williams, Woodgate, Leadbitter, Bailey, Ledesma, Arca (Reach), Haroun (Zemmama), Emnes. Subs: Leutwiler, Hines, Smallwood, Williams.

Ref: Adcock Att: 12,203.