Middlesbrough secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup, thanks to a 2-0 win at home to Sunderland. Goals from Rudy Gestede and Martin Braithwaite in the first half were all that they needed, as they cruised to a comfortable victory.
New manager Tony Pulis saw his side win for the second game running, having beaten Preston 3-2 earlier this week, and was pleased with Boro’s first half display.
He said “We played really well in the first half. In the second half we started really sloppy but I’m pleased with the way the players went about it.”
Pulis is looking to go one better than his Stoke City side did back in 2011, and believes it would be massive for this club to go on a cup run this season.
“I’ve got great respect for the FA Cup – I think it’s the best cup competition in the world and having been there with Stoke and taken a team to Wembley, it was a fantastic experience and if we could do it again I would be delighted.”
Despite seeing his side lose, opposition boss Chris Coleman remained upbeat. Sunderland currently have an injury crisis, meaning that Coleman’s choices in terms of collection were extremely limited for the third round fixture. However, he did praise the effort of his players.
“We’re in a dogfight and you don’t go into a dogfight with kittens, that’s for sure. I just need whoever is ready for it, and the boys today were ready.
“We were naïve and nervous but at least they were out there having a go.”
Chris Coleman will be hoping they can bounce back very soon, as they remain bottom of the Championship table. They face Cardiff away from home in their next fixture, whereas Middlesbrough host Fulham.