Leeds Utd 2 Middlesbrough 1: Gibson admits Boro never really got going

Defender Ben Gibson is urging Middlesbrough to shrug off the disappointment of yesterday's 2-1 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Leeds United.

Monday, 20th November 2017, 8:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:12 pm
Pablo Hernandez beats keeper Darren Randolph to score Leeds' opener against Middlesbrough yesterday. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe

Boro’s three-match winning run ended as Pablo Hernandez and Gianni Alioski struck either side of the break to give Leeds a much-needed victory, after six defeats in the previous seven matches.

Britt Assombalonga gave the Teessiders hope of a late rally when he fired home a 77th-minute penalty, but Boro could not find an equaliser.

“We’ve obviously been on a good run of late and wanted to carry that on into today, but it felt like we didn’t really get going,” Gibson told mfc.co.uk.

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“Having said that, it was a game of fine margins. We had chances as well. At 2-0, we had a few but we were all not good enough today.

“The goals were sloppy from our point of view.

“We’ll have to watch them back and analyse them, but we’ll have to bounce back and bounce back quickly (Boro host Birmingham on Wednesday).

“We’ll analyse it and see what’s gone wrong. The game’s gone; we don’t have time to dwell on it. We’ve shown what we can do and we’ve got to go and do that again.”

Boro boss Garry Monk quit Leeds in late May, two days after owner Andrea Radrizzani completed his takeover, and was given a hostile reception by a large section of the home fans in a noisy crowd.

Monk played down the Leeds fans’ abuse. “That wasn’t even my focus,” he said. “It wasn’t about me. It’s about my team and the players on the pitch and we’re disappointed with the result and should have got more.

“What’s happened has happened. I’ve said my side, the club has said their side and that’s done and dusted.”

Monk added: “There weren’t many clear-cut chances for either team.

“But I think we definitely did enough to at least take a point away from this game.

“I think it’s the fine margins because we started both halves reasonably well and the goals came straight after.

“From my experience coming here, I knew they would make it difficult. They are always tight and competitive games.

“The two moments they really had they scored from.

“Definitely, with the second one, we should have done better so we’re disappointed with that. What’s key is that we show a response this next week, starting against Birmingham.”

Leeds Utd: Lonergan, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Berardi, Vieira, Phillips, Alioski (Pennington 90), Sáiz (O’Kane 88), Hernandez, Roofe (Ekuban 79). Subs not used: Anita, Grot, Wiedwald, Sacko. Booked: Ayling, Janson, Berardi, Phillips, Hernandez. Goals: Hernandez 24, Alioski 54.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Roberts, Ayala, Gibson, Friend (Traore 65), Howson, Leadbitter (Fletcher 71), Downing, Braithwaite, Tavernier (Johnson 56), Assombalonga. Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Fabio da Silva, Fry, Forshaw. Booked: Friend, Assombalonga, Howson. Goal: Assombalonga 77 pen . Att: 33,771. Ref: Keith Stroud