Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis still frustrated despite beating Reading



Posted Sunday, February 11, 2018 by PA

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis still frustrated despite beating Reading

Tony Pulis was relieved to see Middlesbrough finally score some league goals at the Riverside under his watch – but he still wants more.

Boro secured three valuable points in the battle for a play-off spot by beating Reading 2-1 on Teesside.

The excellent Adama Traore scored either side of half-time to put Middlesbrough in the driving seat, only for Reading to make a fight of it when striker Chris Martin pulled one back with 12 minutes remaining.

Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga missed a penalty with five minutes left to increase the nerves, but the hosts held on to close the gap to sixth to four points.

Pulis, whose side had not win or scored in his first three home league games in charge, said: “I’m pleased with the win, but obviously disappointed that we’ve not taken our chances that we should.

“Don’t think there’s any question that when Adama gets a second goal we should have won… when you miss a penalty, Patrick Bamford misses form about six yards out on the angle. Grant Leadbitter hits the post and somehow it comes out, so it should have been five there.

“It was lovely to get them in afterwards and certainly talk about what happened after they scored. There’s certain things we have to do better than we did today.

“As I’ve said all along, if Adama gets it all together he’ll be a wonderful player. He’s fantastic as a lad, he’s only 22 years old, Spanish lad moved away from home and it’s difficult, he needs time.

“I’ve been very patient with him, second half he looked a little bit tired but was still working a hard as he could so we’re delighted with him.”

While Middlesbrough left the Riverside satisfied with the outcome, Reading were smarting again having now just won once in their last 11 matches.

The Royals’ Dutch boss Jaap Stam was left scratching his head and wondering when things will take a turn for the better, with just four points separating them from the bottom three.

He said: “I’m disappointed. It’s not about the players’ commitment. They are very committed to get these points.

“It’s not about the feeling not being there, the atmosphere is still good, positive. We have played this season many games that have looked promising, but we have conceded too easily.

“How hard have I found this season? Basically you learn a lot from being in this situation. We spoke at the end of last season, as a club and team, to have a good season, but when you are in situations sometimes it is difficult to get out of.

“You need to make your own luck. We need to make sure the team stays positive and move forward and take opportunities.

“I don’t think Middlesbrough created a lot of chances through playing football with possession.

“Their first goal they scored we should have done better in the build-up, we didn’t double up on Traore … does it need to go in? We could have avoided that one.

“We then gave them that second goal, the wrong pass, we still got back into the game.

“It’s frustrating how you concede goals at times. At times, we had an opportunity to score, playing balls into the box. It looked promising at times.”

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