howson points the way ahead for boro

Boro boss Garry Monk
Boro boss Garry Monk

Midfielder Jonny Howson is seeking a maximum six points from two home Championship matches, following Saturday’s hard-earned 1-1 draw at Fulham.

Boro rescued a point with Cyrus Christie’s close-range 87th-minute drive, shortly after falling behind to Aboubakar Kamara’s header in a tight Craven Cottage battle.

“We played well in patches and in others it could have been better,” said hard-grafting midfielder Howson.

“But, on the other hand, we showed great character to respond in the way we did.

“With that character and the quality we have in the squad, there’s a positive outlook ahead.

“It’s a good point and with two home games coming we have to follow it up now.”

Christie earned himself redemption with the late equaliser.

With the ball bouncing around the Fulham penalty area, right-back Christie kept his nerve to volley under the body of home keeper David Button to earn Boro a point.

Just two minutes earlier, Christie had allowed Ryan Sessegnon to send over a deep cross on to the head of Kamara. The Fulham substitute nodded the ball in off the post in what appeared to spare him his own embarrassment after skewing his shot wide 10 minutes earlier.

The whirr of excitement in the closing stages made up for the opening 75 minutes which, while pleasing on the eye, were short on goal-scoring chances.

Boro manager Garry Monk viewed the point as one gained, not two lost as Boro extended their unbeaten record in all competitions to seven games.

Monk said: “We haven’t hit our full stride yet, but it’s coming.

“When it clicks, there won’t be many teams who can stop us. We are still improving.

“We knew it would be difficult coming here. Fulham will be challenging again this season.

“Both teams had an attacking mindset so it was always going to be an open game. Both teams had chances, but both could have been more clinical.

“Our character was on show. We came back quickly for the equaliser and ended up pushing for the winner.

“The character of the players is undeniable.

“It must have been great entertainment for the fans.

“Fulham are always a threat, but we dealt with them well and we will look forward to Tuesday’s game against Norwich.” Boro then host Brentford at the Riverside on Saturday.

Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Sessegnon, Norwood (Cisse 90), McDonald, Ojo, Johansen (Kamara 70), Ayite (Kebano 42), Rui Fonte. Subs not used: Bettinelli, Odoi, Mollo, Djalo. Booked: McDonald, Rui Fonte. Goal: Kamara 85.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Christie, Fry, Gibson, Da Silva (Friend 76), Baker, Howson, Clayton, Johnson, Bamford (Fletcher 76), Assombalonga (Downing 89). Subs: Konstantopoulos, Shotton, Leadbitter, Tavernier. Booked: Christie. Goal: Christie 87. Att: 20,718. Ref: Oliver Langford