Wilder hits out at attitude of Middlesbrough players after shock Preston loss

Date published: Wednesday 24th November 2021 11:18 - Sean Byrne

Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has blamed his squad’s attitude for their 2-1 loss to Preston North End.

Paddy McNair opened the scoring for the hosts after 33 minutes, and Boro had multiple opportunities to double this lead as they dominated chances. However, two quick-fire goals from Ched Evans and Emil Riis left Wilder without a win in his opening two games as manager.

And the former Sheffield United boss admitted he was unhappy with how his side played after taking the lead.

Speaking after the match, he said: “I thought Preston were the better side for the first 10. We got to grips with that. We got ourselves up in the game and for the amount of chances we have had we should have increased our lead.

“In the second half we were not so dominant, but there was nothing from the opposition that changed the flow. We were still in the ascendancy. What affected the game was our attitude towards it.

“For the period where we lost it we played like we were three or four up. We weren’t, we were one up. If you are only one up then things can turn around. Even if we were three or four up I don’t want to play like that.”

Boro are now five games without a win, but do remain just six points off a top six spot.

However, Wilder admitted his side must change the way the play if they want to avoid slipping up like this again.

“I thought we tried to force it, there were too many looking to be the star of the show, looking for the killer ball.

“The top and bottom of it is that we have lost a game we should have comfortably won. I want them to play with a certain amount of arrogance and confidence. But there has to be something at the end of it.”

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Despite being one of the star players in the first half, Duncan Watmore was replaced early in the second half against North End.

But Wilder explained post-match the change was down to fitness rather than a tactical swap.

Speaking to TeesideLive, he said: “He’d not trained since the game (against Millwall) so that was touch and go.

“He passed a late fitness test on the afternoon. So did Andy (Andraz Sporar).

“He looked as if he was just a little bit off the pace as well, Duncan.”

Boro next face Huddersfield away from home on Saturday.

READ MORE: Cardiff City target free to move as Middlesbrough look to improve squad


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