Middlesbrough boss demands improvement despite Swansea victory
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has demanded an improvement from his players after the nature of the performance against Swansea at the weekend.
Middlesbrough got their first win under Wilder last weekend at Huddersfield, and backed that up with another win at home to Swansea on Saturday.
Isaiah Jones netted his first goal in a Boro shirt in the 1-0 victory, but the performance is what was a concern for Chris Wilder.
The two games prior to the win at Huddersfield resulted in a 1-1 draw against Millwall and a 2-1 loss to Preston. But in both games, Middlesbrough were certainly the better side.
Against Swansea though, the visitors had more clear cut chances, dominated the ball and were the better of the two teams on the day. Despite this Middlesbrough came away with all three points, but Wilder outlined his demand for improvement regardless in an interview with The Yorkshire Post.
“Was that the way we want to play? Was that as we’ve played the last three? No.
“We turned the ball over cheaply and I think we’re better than that,” said the Boro boss.
“We’ve talked about playing well and if you can’t play well then you have to come out and find a way to win the game,” he continued.
“We didn’t play as well as I would have liked, but we got a win and it just shows you what a crackers division it is off the back of the Millwall and Preston games.”
The victory takes Middlesbrough into ninth place, up from 12th. They are now just four points off the play-off places, but they face sixth placed Stoke City and second placed Bournemouth in their next two games.
They will be hoping to continue their winning streak when they take on the Potters next weekend, but if Wilder’s comments are anything to go by, they may need to play a little better if they are to win against Michael O’Neill’s side.
Swansea hit the bar, had one cleared off the line and had a penalty appeal waved away on Saturday, they had 15 shots to Boro’s five and 68% possession.
However, goals win games and Middlesbrough took their best chance of the game and kept the ball out of the back of the net at the other end by any means necessary.
It may not have been pretty, and they may not come away with any points if they play like that again, but all that matters is the three points, and Boro now take a step closer to their ultimate goal of achieving a place in the top six come the end of the season.