Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Shocked by Thunderous Blow

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Shocked by Thunderous Blow

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Having compared losing to Sunderland to being struck by a `thunderbolt,' the Middlesbrough midfielder George Boateng last night admitted his Teesside team-mates will be haunted by Sunday's dismal derby defeat for at least the next four months.

The demoralised Dutchman was frank in his evaluation of the poor performance which enabled the Black Cats to win at the Riverside Stadium for the first time since April 19, 1997. He said Steve McClaren's players are hurting, having let down their supporters with a substandard offering against the Premiership's basement side.

With a critical Uefa Cup fixture to be contested in Greece this week, the Boro boss must ensure his team do not dwell on one of the worst results of his four-year reign as the club's campaign threatens to unravel around him.

But, according to Boateng, the derby demons cannot be exorcised until January 31, when the vengeful Teessiders travel to the Stadium of Light for the return fixture against Mick McCarthy's men.

"We will be down for a long time because of this and already, I cannot wait to go to Sunderland and put things right," said the 30-year-old, well aware of the implications of a 2-0 defeat after Boro were booed off the pitch on Sunday evening.

"Winning on their ground will be the only way to make up for this defeat. Winning on Thursday (against Skoda Xanthi) will not make up for this, this will hurt for a while.

"Everybody is disappointed and it's hard to know what to say about a game like that. We don't know what the next step is because it was a result none of us expected.

"As players, we know that we are the people responsible and we know that we are the only people who can put it right. Sunderland had not won before the game, they were bottom of the league, and it's painful that they were able to come here and win their first game of the season. …

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