Garry Monk calls for Middlesbrough focus ahead of Bristol City test
Focus, application and concentration.
Garry Monk says his Middlesbrough side need to go back to basics in order to get their promotion chase back on track.
Boro travel to one of the second tier’s surprise packages Bristol City tomorrow (5.30pm kick-off), looking to bounce back from last weekend’s humbling home hammering by Derby County.
And Monk believes his side are not too far from clicking, but individual errors are costing them dear.
“In the majority of our games this season we have made really avoidable mistakes,” said Monk.
“All of us, not just the fans, are frustrated - the players, the staff. Getting rid of the errors is just about focus and application.
“When you look at the goals we have conceded, there are probably only two goals where you could say it has been good play by the opposition. The rest are actually really avoidable.
“It is our mistakes and decision making.
“It is frustrating because where we are defensively as a team in terms of shape and set up, a lot of what we do is right.
“We have probably been punished really heavily for the mistakes we have made.
“We need to get it right as it is holding us back.”
The Robins are right in the Championship play-off mix, having taken 34 points from their 19 second tier games to date.
They sit two places and five points better off than Monk’s men, who currently occupy 7th spot.
While many are surprised to see City so far up the table, Monk is not. He knows anything goes at this level.
“This league is so competitive and wide open - bottom can beat top on any given day,” he said.
“But there is a lot of football to be played. They have had a good start.
“We are focusing on the three points, not on them.
“We need to get things right more often than not.”
Monk, whose side could edge back above the Rams with a win, added: “As a team we have not taken chances when they come our way and made too many errors at the back.
“Those two things have been holding us back.
“When we have won games the focus on those areas has been right.”