Boro’s Agnew re­fuses to throw in the towel

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

MID­DLES­BROUGH’S in­terim head coach Steve Agnew rued the ap­palling start that led to their de­feat at Bournemouth but says they will im­me­di­ately be­gin to plot a route to sur­vival.

De­spite los­ing Marten de Roon to an an­kle in­jury and see­ing Gas­ton Ramirez sent off in the 20th minute for a sec­ond yel­low card as they fell nine points from safety, Agnew is adamant they have not given up.

Their per­for­mance at the Vi­tal­ity Sta­dium, in which they were un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally poor in de­fence, left them in 19th, and their five re­main­ing fix­tures are against Sun­der­land, Manch­ester City, Chelsea, Southamp­ton and Liverpool.

Agnew, who has overseen four de­feats and two draws since his ap­point­ment, said: “It’s very emo­tional. There’s lots of an­gry play­ers, lots of emo­tional play­ers, as there is staff. We have to be real- is­tic. It’s a huge, huge chal­lenge, but all we can do is dust our­selves down and get ready for Sun­der­land (on Wed­nes­day). Ev­ery game we need a win. We re­main as pos­i­tive as we can be.

“In many ways we lost the game in the first 10 min­utes. That’s not like us. It was re­ally, re­ally poor de­fend­ing.”

Re­gard­ing the shock death on Fri­day of club favourite Ugo Ehiogu, he added: “What a sad, sad day. Our con­do­lences go to the fam­ily; the sup­port­ers were amaz­ing again.”

Two first-half goals from Joshua King and Benik Afobe and oth­ers in the sec­ond from Marc Pugh and Char­lie Daniels, lifted Bournemouth to 12th – seven points above the bot­tom three.

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