MOGGA VOWS TO FIGHT ON
MIDDLESBRO’..0 BRIGHTON ......2
TONY MOWBRAY will not walk away from Middlesbrough despite seeing his side’s alarming run continue with defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Boro were ten points clear of sixth place in December, but now find themselves closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs after picking up just two wins in 18 games, while Saturday’s game was their third straight fixture without a goal.
“By nature I am a fighter, I never give in,” said Mowbray, after second-half goals from Andrea Orlandi and David Lopez propelled Albion to fifth and left Boro eight points off the play-offs.
“You’ll have to ask the chairman that question. I’m not going to walk away from anything, it’s tough, it’s not easy, on a run like this.
“We work hard, we have gameplans, we’ll keep going ultimately. The chairman knows the situation we inherited, the problems we’ve got, the issues around the football club.
“If someone can come in and do a better job or make a different impact, that’s their prerogative. At the moment, my nature is to dig in, to try and help our club turn it around.
“I want Boro in the Premier League, the supporters want the Boro in the Premier League, how are we going to do that? Use the resources we have as cleverly as we can. It’s obvious at the moment that we are going backwards. There are many reasons for that, none that I will discuss here.
“The chairman knows the situation, ultimately he makes the decisions. He’s supportive and he understands.”
Boro were the better side in the first half, Scott McDonald seeing his shot deflected out for a corner on 38 minutes, while Andy Halliday’s effort whistled wide of the post three minutes before half-time.
Albion, however, should have been in the lead five minutes after the restart, when Leonardo Ulloa hooked in a cross for Dean Hammond, Halliday missed the header and the Brighton midfielder fired over on the turn.
Wayne Bridge embarked on a surging run from deep which ended up in the box, but the Manchester City loanee’s cross did not find any takers.
From the counter-attack, Merouane Zemmama supplied McDonald with a perfect pass but the Australian forward dinked his shot over the crossbar when he had time and space to carry it forward.
Such profligacy was punished by the visitors on the hour mark when, unchallenged, Hammond sauntered down the right wing and whipped in a perfect cross for Orlandi to volley home on the instep.
Boro rallied, but for all of their huff and puff, Brighton put the game out of sight on 76 minutes, Lopez racing on to Liam Bridcutt's ball and floating a sublime shot over Steele, sending the 624 Albion fans into euphoria.
Albion manager Gus Poyet praised his side’s physical display at Middlesbrough: “We had a different kind of team. Sometimes people are looking for excitement, speed, one versus one.
We had the strongest team we could probably play in terms of physical ability and we knew it would be very difficult for them to score.
“The side of it we were a little worried about was us getting on the score sheet.
“We needed David, Deano (Dean Hammond), Crofty (Andrew Crofts) and Andrea to pop up maybe with a goal and not leave all that job to Leo (Ulloa). And it worked out!”
BROTHERS IN ARMS: David Lopez celebrates with Andrea Orlandi