Some can take credit as Boro show spirit
BORO showed spirit to twice claw from behind to draw 2-2 with Brentford - but that can’t disguise how disappointing a display it was.
Boro were woeful in a laboured first half in which they spurned possession, ceded the initiative and eventually gifted a goal.
Even in the second half when they started to press forward more it was far from polished and lacked drive or conviction. The boss has much to think about in the break.
That said, some individuals can take some credit from the game.
Martin Braithwaite, rifled home a goal on his first start at the Riverside so can put that moment in the memory bank.
But even before that, the £9m Danish international was looking the likeliest avenue for Boro to claw something back.
He glided around, found time and space with deft touches and tried to make things happen with a range of well weighted passes.
He started in the No10 role and then played further forward and looked comfortable in both.
Jonny Howson has a long way to go to win over some sections of the crowd, but the £5m summer signing created both Boro goals and hooked a goal-bound Brentford effort off the line.
Howson floated in the free-kick that led to the opener and drove forward from midfield and squared into the box for the second.
Before that he had put in a shift of fire-fighting, getting in tackles and tidying up at the back.
While Brazilian Fabio Da Silva had a nightmare first 45, after the break he showed real hunger to help drag Boro back into the game, scoring one and almost snatching a winner with a shot that screamed over. Fabio showed hunger after a first half to forget