Tony Pulis said that he couldn’t fault his players commitment to the cause after a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa saw Middlesbrough fall out of the Playoffs.

The Boro boss believes that they needed to start turning chances into goals if they are to be successful next season. 

After falling to a 1-0 defeat against Villa at The Riverside, Boro travelled to the Midlands in search of a win in an attempt to prolong their season.

However, Villa defended well and Boro failed to break down the home side’s defence and lost the chance to compete for a place in the Premier League at Wembley.

Speaking to the club website, Pulis said “We’ve had really good moments in the game, times we’ve been dominant in possession,

“We need to turn that into chances and goals. I can’t fault the players, I thought they were brilliant in a really hostile atmosphere.”

The away side made one change to the side, with academy graduate Dael Fry replacing Daniel Ayala at centre back.

“I thought Dael Fry – coming in for Ayala who’s been exceptional for us – was fabulous, you wouldn’t notice any difference.” Pulis said.

“I’m desperately disappointed for everyone in the area because I thought over the two games we’d done enough to get something out of it.”

Despite the Playoff disappointment, the Boro boss is convinced that they can push on next year.

“We’ve got a chairman who’s in love with the football club and the area.

“I’ve had a good four or five months, we’ve played some really good football at times, but the Championship is a real tough league, a slog. You dust yourself down, pick yourself up and go.”

Middlesbrough will look for promotion next season, and have every reason to be optimistic under Tony Pulis.


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