Monk fuming as Boro go from best to worst
WE SHOT OURSELVES IN FOOT, SAYS RIVERSIDE BOSS
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.”