Warnock calms fears over injured star as he makes plea to Boro attackers

Date published: Thursday 21st October 2021 2:40 - Sean Byrne

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock against Hull City.

Neil Warnock has called on his team to be more clinical in front of goal as Middlesborough made it three wins from four games on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Andraz Sporar and Matt Crooks secured victory at the Riverside Stadium against Barnsley. Boro looked impressive throughout and the result means they move closer to a top-six position. However, Warnock still feels his side should be making more of their chances in the game.

He said: “The chances we missed tonight…we were not clinical enough in that area. But all credit to the lads.

“The dressing room has been really good. You have to work hard and we played some good stuff tonight, some great chances and crosses.

“I was a little apprehensive first five minutes but after that I thought we were on the front foot. They put me through the mill.”

Duncan Watmore was one player who was guilty of missing a clear-cut chance.

However, Warnock was quick to defend his player and praised his overall performance.

“Duncan did slip for his chance in fairness. But he has worked his socks off, I have nothing but praise.

“We won the game and that is the main thing, so Duncan’s miss wasn’t as bad as it could have been.”

The win means Boro maintain their good run of form after going four games without a win in August.

Now, Warnock is calling on his side to build on this as he recalled missed opportunities earlier in the season.

“It helps how we are feeling but it doesn’t take anything away from how I look back at a few games and ask how we don’t have nine or 10 points more than we have.

“The players played like they enjoyed it tonight. You don’t want it to fade away because we are better than that.”

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Sporar saw his evening end prematurely as he was taken off with 25 minutes remaining and the result still in the balance.

Sporar opened the scoring for Boro with an excellent header after 20 minutes.

Despite his performance being cut short, Warnock insisted the change was just a precaution.

He said to TeessideLive: “He felt his abductor on international duty and he said he felt it again so we said he better come straight off.

“I said to him and Duncan at half-time, I don’t want you like against Blackpool where your stats were terrible second half. They could have played with a fag in.

“I said, ‘run around until your cream crackered and then come off when you’re knackered.”

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