Dejected defender says McManaman’s late, late Sunderland equaliser felt like defeat for Boro

Ayala (right) shows his despair as Callum McManaman celebrates hitting Sunderland's stoppage-time leveller. Picture by Frank Reid
Ayala (right) shows his despair as Callum McManaman celebrates hitting Sunderland's stoppage-time leveller. Picture by Frank Reid
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Middlesbrough defender Dani Ayala admitted to a feeling of dejection after Sunderland snatched a point in Saturday’s dramatic Wear-Tees clash.

Callum McManaman pounced six minutes into stoppage time to make it 3-3, denying Boro a move into the play-off places.

The draw took the Teessiders up to seventh place, two points adrift of the play-offs, going into this Friday’s big showdown at Leeds United.

“We’re quite disappointed with the draw,” former Norwich centre-back Ayala told mfc.co.uk.

“We came here to win the game and get three points. We got back into the game and, at 3-2 heading into the last minute, it feels like a defeat, but we have to move on.

“We’ve got another game on Friday and we’ve got to get three points.

“It wasn’t the best of starts, but, when they play at home, we knew they were going to come at us and we concede a poor goal.

“We should have won it at 3-2 and seen the game out, but it wasn’t to be, so we have to move on.”

Patrick Bamford’s well-taken brace, either side of a Grant Leadbitter penalty, after keeper Lee Camp brought down Britt Assombalonga, had Boro 3-2 up.