Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Clarets Move above Boro but Seagulls Stall at Cardiff

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Clarets Move above Boro but Seagulls Stall at Cardiff

Article excerpt

Byline: Philip Tallentire

BORO have dropped out of the automatic promotion places following Saturday's Championship fixtures.

Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough FC team have enjoyed an almost uninterrupted stay in the top two since November.

At one stage last month the club enjoyed a six point advantage over the third-placed team with a game in hand.

But a run of five games without a win has allowed the chasing back to close the gap.

Burnley's 2-0 win at home to Rotherham enabled Sean Dyche's outfit to leapfrog Boro into second place though the Teessiders have two games in hand on the Clarets, who are just one point better off.

"Overall I am really pleased," said Dyche. "It was a big win, I have said it many times sometimes the hardest fight to win is the one you are expected to and we have taken care of it well today.

"I have said many times about the progress the team has made.

"The team is still moulding but my main thing is learning different ways to win a game and that was what happened today. I am very pleased we can find different ways of winning."

There was better news at Cardiff City, where the home side hammered Brighton 4-1 to ensure the Seagulls didn't claim the three points that would have enabled them to push Boro, who host Cardiff on Tuesday, down to fourth. Brighton boss Chris Hughton admitted his side had been masters of their own downfall and wasted "a good opportunity".

The game was effectively over once Peter Whittingham, Anthony Pilkington and Lex Immers had capitalised on defensive errors to give the Bluebirds a 3-0 lead inside half an hour.

Dale Stephens pulled a goal back for Brighton, but Whittingham sealed the win from the penalty spot with 24 minutes to play, and Hughton felt a lot of the damage was self-inflicted.

"It is very simple, if you concede three goals in that manner it is very difficult to win any football match, particularly at this level and away from home against a side as good as Cardiff," said Hughton.

"We never allowed ourselves to get into the game. At 3-1 we had two good chances but I cannot say we deserved anything. …

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