Middlesbrough boss admits club’s hopes of reaching the play-offs are over
Speaking to Teesside Live after Middlesbrough lost 3-1 to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, away boss Neil Warnock admitted the club’s hopes of reaching the Championship play-offs are all but over.
Going into the game Middlesbrough were six points outside of the league’s top six. But following the defeat to Bournemouth, Warnock’s side now find themselves seven points away, although they could be nine if the Cherries win their game in hand and leapfrog Reading and Barnsley into the final play-off spots. The Teessiders have just seven fixtures left to play between now and the end of the season.
It is looking increasingly unlikely Boro will be able to squeeze into the top six. Their next two games sees them go up against second placed Watford and fifth placed Barnsley. Both games will be must-wins if they are to keep any slight hopes alive.
However, when Warnock was asked if he believes it is over for his team this season, the veteran boss gave a damning two word response.
“Oh yeah,” he said.
But he admitted if you are an idealist or optimist, of course it is still a mathematic possibility they could reach the play-offs.
“It is still there,” he said, “but only if you are a romantic.”
Although Middlesbrough’s fortunes look to be down and out, the opposite can be said for their Good Friday opposition. Bournemouth’s win sees them stay in seventh place, but they are now just one point off Reading in sixth. The Royals and Barnsley shared the points as they played out a 1-1 draw in the 5.30pm kick-off. Jonathan Woodgate’s side will be hoping to take their solid performance against Middlesbrough into their next game as they take on Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Whereas Boro take on Watford at the Riverside in three days time.