Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's No Christmas Cracker at Boro

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's No Christmas Cracker at Boro

Article excerpt

Middlesbrough 1 HullCity 0 REALIST Tony Mowbray admitted his side's smash-andgrab 1-0 win over Hull was far from a seasonal sizzler for the Riverside's biggest crowd since relegation from the Premier League. However, the Boro boss believes the plundered points and the timely boost for the Teessiders' tilt at a top-flight return more than makes up for the close call for the 27,794 crowd.

Boro stole the points as Barry Robson rifled home a 30-yard screamer three minutes for time in a tight summit showdown which Hull had edged on clear-cut chances.

It was Boro's fourth win on the bounce and briefly nudged the Teessiders into an automatic promotion spot before West Ham clawed back in front on goal difference with a 1-1 draw at Birmingham in the evening kick-off, the Blues levelling in the last ten minutes thanks to Boro old boy David Murphy's close-range header.

Mowbray said: "It was a tough game and we had to battle just to stay in it for long spells.

"Hull are a good team in good form and they create a lot of chances and so yes we set up to stifle them rather than take the game to them.

"I understand for some of the supporters that may seem a bit cautious and they may not be happy about approaching it like that, but the bottom line is to win games line these you have to nullify their strengths first.

"We did that. I thought then we won the game with a moment of real quality.

"Although the game maybe was not exciting in terms of goals and chances I hope the people who came are excited by the result and by the league table and went home happy with three points."

Boro have now beaten the third-placed form team Cardiff 3-2 away and then fourth placed Hull, who arrived after four wins on the bounce.

That leaves them well placed to mount a New Year promotion push, but Mowbray played down the mounting expectations on Teesside.

He added: It was a massive result for us. In fact, with Hull and Cardiff it has been two massive results and six important points. …

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