Middlesbrough had lost back-to-back games for the first time under Chris Wilder going into the clash with Bournemouth on Friday afternoon.
Middlesbrough had lost 1-0 to both Fulham and Hull City prior to Good Friday, but managed to stop the rot with a draw 0-0 at the Vitality Stadium to move up to seventh in the standings.
Although the point was a good one and a step in the right direction, much of the talk pre-match and post-match was about manager Chris Wilder’s decision to drop number one goalkeeper Joe Lumley.
Lumley has come under scrutiny from both his manager and plenty of Middlesbrough supporters, following a string of high profile errors; the most recent resulting in the deciding goal against Hull City last weekend.
Luke Daniels came in to replace Lumley against Bournemouth, with the back-up ‘keeper earning praise from his manager in his post-match comments.
“I thought that was the right decision and I felt it was right to go with Luke. There is no hiding place for goalkeepers and I think there has got to be some respect to Luke as well,” he said.
“He’s not played any football since Joe has been in but he has trained fantastically well.
“Joe has made a couple of mistakes over the couple of games and, from a credibility point of view, I’ve got to be able to look Luke in the eye as well. He deserved an opportunity and I thought he did well.
“He didn’t have an awful amount to do but what he did was clean and tidy, he was decent with his feet and he’s played his part in us keeping a clean sheet.”
Daniels started in goal when Wilder took over from Neil Warnock back in November. But after not being convinced by the former Brentford man, Lumley was given the number one jersey again.
Daniels will likely continue between the sticks when Boro take on another promotion chaser on Easter Monday.
The Teessiders host Huddersfield Town at the Riverside in the televised clash where they will look to get back to winning ways.
There are only five games left between now and the end of the season for Chris Wilder’s side. After the game against Huddersfield Town, they face Swansea City, Cardiff City, Stoke City, before travelling to Preston North End on the final day.