Monk fum­ing as Boro go from best to worst

WE SHOT OUR­SELVES IN FOOT, SAYS RIVER­SIDE BOSS

Sunday Sun - - Football -

IT wasn’t so much bad to worse as was “best” to worst for Boro as they slumped to a 3-0 home de­feat against Derby.

Boro boss Garry Monk felt his Mid­dles­brough side had per­formed rea­son­ably well in the first half, with Britt As­som­ba­longa and Fabio Da Silva both wast­ing de­cent headed chances to score.

But a suc­ces­sion of er­rors saw his side fall to their worst de­feat of the sea­son, de­spite hav­ing played some of their “best” foot­ball in the open­ing half, said Monk.

And he con­ceded the dread­ful sec­ond-half er­rors made by his play­ers ul­ti­mately proved de­ci­sive.

“Talk about shoot­ing your­self in the foot,” said Monk.

“It was so dis­ap­point­ing to go from play­ing that well in the first half, where we played some of our best foot­ball of the sea­son.

“The one dis­ap­point­ment of the first half was that we weren’t ruth­less enough.

“With the chances we cre­ated, we should have been win­ning that game at half-time.

“But the dif­fer­ence was that the one time they were in our half, they were ruth­less and clinical with it.

“It was a dif­fi­cult one at half-time be­cause we had been play­ing at a good level, and if we had con­tin­ued play­ing in that way, you couldn’t see any­thing else than us get­ting back into the game and be­ing in a good po­si­tion to win it.

“But the sec­ond half was hor­ri­ble. We shot our­selves in the foot with in­di­vid­ual mis­takes and er­rors. That’s what cost us, and it was bit­terly frus­trat­ing.”

Derby boss Gary Rowett de­scribed Matej Vy­dra as “the best num­ber 10” in the Cham­pi­onship af­ter the Czech for­ward’s hat-trick se­cured the em­phatic River­sise win.

Vy­dra took his Cham­pi­onship tally to 11 goals as he sand­wiched a sec­ond­half penalty with two well-taken fin­ishes, and his tre­ble helped lift Derby back into the play-off po­si­tions.

The 25-year-old has scored in five of his last six games, with his link-up with striker David Nu­gent prov­ing in­creas­ingly ef­fec­tive.

And Rowett would not swap him for any other at­tack­ing mid­fielder in the sec­ond tier.

“I’ve seen him play in a wide left po­si­tion, clos­ing down op­po­si­tion full­backs and he doesn’t re­ally like do­ing that,” said Rowett.

“I’ve also seen him play as a striker and he doesn’t re­ally have the phys­i­cal ca­pac­ity to do that with his back to goal.

“But when he gets the ball at his feet and trav­els, he’s a ter­rific player. He can score with his left foot or his right foot, and he can also head the ball as well. Mid­dles­brough’s Daniel Ayala in ac­tion dur­ing the 3-0 de­feat against Derby yes­ter­day. Be­low, Fabio has a chance

“I think he’s the best num­ber 10 in the league. The most im­por­tant thing is to get play­ers into a sit­u­a­tion where they can play at their best, and I think that’s what we’ve got with him.

“He’s prob­a­bly a player that needs to feel good about him­self.

“He’s had a cou­ple of loan moves that didn’t re­ally work, so I think he needs to feel that he’s val­ued at the heart of things. He’s got ev­ery­thing re­ally, apart from maybe be­ing a bit more phys­i­cal when he’s de­fend­ing.

“But if he had those at­tributes too, he’d be £40m or £50m and be play­ing in the Premier League.”

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