Tony Mowbray paid tribute to his Middlesbrough side despite bemoaning the fact they have now not won in eight matches following a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield last night.
Luckless Boro have taken all three points from a match on just one occasion this season – at Charlton on August 10 – although they have drawn on six occasions in their opening 10 Sky Bet Championship fixtures.
The Teessiders’ winless run at the Riverside since mid-April continued last night, despite them overcoming a nervy start to largely dominate against the Terriers.
The hosts fell behind against the run of play just before the hour mark when Oscar Gobern’s strike took a vital deflection off James Vaughan.
Young defender Ben Gibson earned Boro a deserved share of the spoils after heading home from a corner and they could have snatched victory at the death, only for the underside of the bar to deny Dean Whitehead.
While Mowbray hailed his side’s spirit, he was ultimately left frustrated at their failure to turn a commanding performance into a much-needed victory.
“I thought the team worked extraordinarily hard to get a result,” he said.
“After the first 10-15 minutes where it was a bit anxious for us understandably, not having won at home this season.
“We then got right on top, I thought we really worked their keeper, we controlled the game after the first 15 minutes from start to finish and yet we don’t get the result again.
“As has been pretty common, we lost a preventable goal and had to fight our way back, which we did.
“We were unfortunate at the end not to win.
“I thought it was a fantastic effort from the team and yet ultimately we’re in the business of trying to win matches, particularly here at home, and we haven’t managed to do it again.”
Mowbray was also full of praise for centre-back Gibson, who may have been left out of the starting XI had the experienced Jonathan Woodgate shaken off a calf injury he sustained in the defeat to QPR at the weekend.
“I’m delighted for him, he’s a fantastic personality, a real driven guy from this part of the world,” added Mowbray.