Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'All Hard Work Was Wasted' Says Boss

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'All Hard Work Was Wasted' Says Boss

Article excerpt

Byline: By ERIC PAYLOR

FRUSTRATED Boro boss Gareth Southgate was today critical of the set-piece defending that cost Boro the chance of a priceless point at Stamford Bridge last night.

Boro generally took the sting out of Chelsea's attacking in open play, but defended poorly from the corners from which Salomon Kalou grabbed the two crucial goals.

The defeat extended Boro's unwanted run to 11 league games without a win, and Southgate admitted: "It's almost criminal to think that we did everything else so well but defended so badly from set pieces.

"We went to Chelsea to keep things tight and that's what you have to do when you go to a place like that.

"In the first hour Chelsea were struggling to find a way of dealing with us and there was every chance of a result if we had maintained our concentration.

So it's galling that we have been done by two set pieces.

"You almost expect them to carve you apart and do something spectacular, but we worked so hard to close them downthat they were unable to do that.

"So to concede two goals from set pieces means that people were not doing their jobs.

"We went there and only did half a job and wasted all our hard work at the end of the day."

In the dressing room after the match, Southgate blasted his players for their defending, but refused to name individuals afterwards.

He said: "What has been said will stay in the dressing room, but it's true that I am bitterly disappointed.

"I should have come away from Stamford Bridge proud of what they had done.

"We had some big performances, particularly in midfield.

"I told the players beforehand that it was not about reputations or the surroundings but it was about what we did on the night.

"We worked hard, hoping for the moment of quality going forward that might even allow us to nick a goal. …

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