Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take That

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take That

Article excerpt

Byline: Philip Tallentire

Thank you Sam!

George Boateng reckons that Sam Allardyce's controversial post-Carling Cup Final comments inspired Boro to victory on Saturday.

The larger than life Bolton boss claimed referee Mike Riley gifted Boro a penalty at Cardiff while denying his side a cast-iron spot kick later in the match.

And just 24 hours before Saturday's re-match, he said Bolton would go to the Riverside seeking revenge.

Boro midfielder Boateng said: "I think the result was important.

"The motivation was there for us because of what Sam said in the newspapers.

"He said he was disappointed to lose because in the previous two games they've won comfortably."

Boateng was asked if he thought Allardyce was out of order criticising the referee and the legitimacy of Boro's cup final win prior to Saturday's game.

He answered: "I think it was not out of order. I thank him for saying that because it inspired us.

"It showed we could win comfortably."

Those pundits who anticipated a Carling Cup Final backlash from Bolton were proved wrong.

Boro never allowed Wanderers to impose themselves on the game and could have easily won this 'replay' by a bigger margin.

Boateng said: "It was a good result but we were a bit sloppy in the second half.

"I'm delighted with the way the team defended, especially without Gareth being there.

"Chris Riggott was fantastic.

"If you look at Bolo Zenden, he's a must have at this place. He's played three games in seven days.

"We have to try (to keep him). If you try and fail, you can't do any more.

"It's like Geremi. Even if we can sign Bolo for just another year. I know the manager would like to keep him here. People have seen what a player he is."

The mood in the Boro dressing room is clearly excellent at the moment and Boateng added: "Boro is a great place to be. This is my third Premier League club and they are not all like this."

Boro will wait for a few more days before reassessing Gareth Southgate's injured jaw.

The Boro skipper suffered a blow in the face while on England duty in Sweden last week. …

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