Boro defender Ayala driven on by Friday frustration ahead of Burton trip

Daniel Ayala. Picture by Frank Reid
Daniel Ayala. Picture by Frank Reid
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Daniel Ayala hopes that Middlesbrough’s luck will turn – after the disappointment of Friday night’s home loss to Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves.

Boro remained in the final play-off place despite their 2-1 defeat, but have the chance to get back to winning aways when they visit bottom club Burton Albion this afternoon.

Defender Ayala cut a frustrated figure after Boro succumbed 2-1 to Wolves, who were clinging on at the end, down to nine men, after Patrick Bamford hit a smashing stoppage-time strike to halve the deficit.

The Spaniard told mfc.co.uk: “It’s quite frustrating when we had so many chances, especially in the second half.

“To come out with nothing is quite frustrating.

“At the end of the day, we come with no points and that’s the frustrating thing.

“In the first 30 minutes, I didn’t think they were the better team, I thought we were the better team.

“But in that 10 minutes where they score two goals, they got control of the game going 2-0 up.

“But I thought we came out in the second half really strong and positive and we are unlucky to not come away with any points.”

Boss Tony Pulis was disappointed to be 2-0 down at the break, as Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro scored for the high-flying visitors.

“I told the players at half-time I didn’t think there was that much in the game, and their two sending offs (Ruben Neves and Matt Doherty were red-carded)changed the situation,” said the Welshman.

“Then we had the ball a lot in the final third – we just needed a break in front of goal.

“Patrick has one that’s going in and hits the lad on the back of the head, as does Jonny Howson, and there’s one where, if Stewart [Downing] hits the target, it’s in.

“There are opportunities which, in games like these, you have to take.”

Boro head to Burton, who have not won in their last 14 home matches, suffering 11 defeats and picking up just three points from draws.

The Teessiders beat the Brewers 2-0 at home back in August, and a repeat should maintain their slot in the play-off places.

Hull City are six points above the drop zone after Saturday’s hard-fought 0-0 home draw with Steve Bruce’s fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Tigers skipper Michael Dawson was delighted with the point.

Former Tottenham defender Dawson told hullcitytigers.com: “We had to produce a response from the defeat at Birmingham and I thought we did just that.

“We played some good football at times, especially in the second half, but we just couldn’t create any clear-cut opportunities to seriously test their keeper.

“The level of our performance was pleasing though.

“Towards the end of the second half, they put us under a little bit of pressure.

“We had to stand strong when it mattered and we did that.

“Villa are a top team and chasing promotion, so we’ll take the point and move on.

“We go to Wolves now on Tuesday – which is a big game – and then we’ve got three huge matches in the space of a week.

“We’re fighting for our lives.

“Our performances are showing that – but we know that we need to win football matches in order to make sure we’re still in this division next season.”