Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro 1, Spurs 0

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro 1, Spurs 0

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Szilard Nemeth came off the bench last night to rescue Middlesbrough's Carling Cup victory party.

The Slovakian international had not even been included in the squad for that historic day in Cardiff, but showed his wasteful strike partners how to find the back of the net just as it seemed spirited Tottenham would hold on for a draw.

Boro boss Steve McClaren said: "It was a fantastic reaction from him after being left out at Cardiff. He always does well for us when he comes off the bench.

"He has been in and out of the side, but he is the best natural finisher at the club. He just needs to do it more consistently.

"It was a very important win for us. In the first half I thought we played as though we were suffering a cup hangover, but we opened things up in the second-half. We can look forward now."

Middlesbrough may have given their fans the thrill of a first ever major trophy with their Carling Cup victory over Bolton Wanderers less than two weeks ago, but excitement has been a rare commodity at the Riverside this season.

Boro had managed to score just 11 league goals in front of their own fans, a dire statistic in itself, but one made all the more bewildering as it belongs to a side which boasts the notable creative talents of Brazilian World Cup winner Juninho, Spanish international playmaker Gaizka Mendieta and Dutch winger Bojo Zenden.

Tottenham, a side well used to cup success and the resulting failure to use it as a catalyst for improved league campaigns, would have been forgiven for feeling like unwanted guests in light of the Boro manager's warning about falling into the same trap following that memorable day in Cardiff.

Boro began the game closer to the relegation zone than to the top six finish their manager had targeted last summer. …

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