POKER FACE FOR BOOED MARVIN

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Joe Tait

NOT even a small smile drifted across the face of Marvin Emnes af­ter he clin­i­cally rolled a fin­ish over the line deep into stop­page-time to pre­vent Mid­dles­brough from los­ing a sec­ond game in three Cham­pi­onship fix­tures.

The Dutch striker, who has started the last two matches on the bench fol­low­ing the ar­rival of £1m man Al­bert Adomah, clearly had his own thoughts about his non-se­lec­tion and some of the boos from the fans which greeted his sec­ond-half in­tro­duc­tion at the River­side Sta­dium.

Only he will know how he was feel­ing, but af­ter grab­bing his first goal of the sea­son to stop Black­pool from main­tain­ing their 100 per cent start to the cam­paign, his man­ager hopes it is the first of many.

Tony Mow­bray, the Mid­dles­brough man­ager, is on the look out for at­tack­ing re­in­force­ments, but if he can solve the Emnes prob­lem then the Teessiders could al­ready have a 20-goal a sea­son gem.

Mow­bray said:“Marvin Emnes is a very tech­ni­cal and tal­ented foot­baller. He’s had a few is­sues over the years but he’s dealt with them.

“The fans showed some un­hap­pi­ness to­wards him against Ac­cring­ton and that’s knocked his con­fi­dence a bit.

“But when that ball was drop­ping out of the air, there was no one else I’d have wanted on the end of it.”

And Mow­bray felt it would have been un­fair had his team lost.

He added: “For all the football that was played, two set-pieces made the dif­fer­ence. That’s the na­ture of the league, it’s just so tight.

“If you look at our side, it’s clear we des­per­ately need some cut­ting edge.

“Lukas Jutkiewicz has done well for us but he and Marvin need some sup­port.We’re ty­ing to bring peo­ple in to do that.”

A largely un­event­ful open­ing 83 min­utes came to life in the clos­ing stages af­ter Black­pool had taken the lead.

When Rhys Wil­liams con­ceded a free-kick on the edge of the area for a high chal­lenge on Mid­dles­brough fan Neal Bishop, Paul Ince's side had a fan­tas­tic chance to take the lead.

The op­por­tu­nity looked to have gone when Barry Fer­gu­son's dead ball hit the wall, but then the loose ball fell invit­ingly for Sun­der­land-born Chris Basham to slot over goal­keeper Jayson Leutwiler's line.

At that point Mid­dles­brough looked short of ideas and un­likely to sneak a draw, but then Emnes – in­tro­duced on the hour for mid­fielder Jozsef Varga – was on hand in the area him­self to turn over the line. On that oc­ca­sion goal­keeper Matt Gilks had failed to deal with Adomah's ball in to the box and the man who hit 18 goals two sea­sons ago de­liv­ered to save a point.

Paul Ince, a for­mer Mid­dles­brough skip­per in his play­ing days, was far from happy de­spite earn­ing a point with­out both of his star wingers Thomas Ince and Matt Phillips.

The Black­pool man­ager said: “Gilks is dev­as­tated be­cause he’s made a mis­take but I told him, when he makes a mis­take, we all make a mis­take.

“I’m sure he’ll save us plenty of points this sea­son.

“I was de­lighted for Bash, him be­ing a North-East boy.

“You could see how much it meant to him and, when Boro equalised, you could see he was gut­ted.

“He’s got a great at­ti­tude and works so hard all the time.

“I knew it wasn’t go­ing to be a 5-5 or any­thing ex­cit­ing be­cause of the per­son­nel we had.

“We had two of our wingers miss­ing, so we knew we were go­ing to have to keep it tight and play for the sec­ond ball.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

DEAD­LOCK BRO­KEN: Chris Basham gives Black­pool the lead

CRUNCH: Jozsef Varga is chal­lenged by Neal Bishop

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