Jonathan Woodgate praises Middlesbrough youngsters after Preston draw
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate thought his side deserved to beat Preston following a 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium.
Midfielder Josh Harrop opened the scoring for the visitors five minutes before half-time, yet an immediate equaliser from Britt Assombalonga drew Boro level
And Woodgate, who criticised his side following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, was pleased with the response.
“I was pleased with that display, to be honest I thought we deserved a win,” said Woodgate. “I thought we had a lot of the chances, I can't remember a save Darren (Randolph) had to make. Their keeper made quite a number of saves."
“I’m pleased with the response, gutted we didn’t get the three points but it's a step in the right direction."
“We have to be solid at the minute. I'm not stupid, I know how football goes. I want to play in a certain way but sometimes you have to play a certain way and tweak things to get results when you need a result.
“That’s what management is all about. You can't always play the perfect game, you need to adjust and if things aren't going too well you need to stop the rot.”
Woodgate made four changes to his side from the weekend as Daniel Ayala, Jonny Howson, Marcus Browne and Marcus Tavernier all came in.
All four made an impact and were praised by Woodgate after the match.
“There were some really good performances,” added the Boro boss. “Jonny Howson came back from hernia surgery, Tavernier and Browne were really good, I thought Paddy McNair was outstanding, he’s been a standout player for us.
“We need to build on that on Friday against Birmingham.”
Tavernier, 20, and Browne, 21, were particularly lively on the flanks, with the former making his first league start of the season.
“They looked good but what I would say about the pair of them is they’ve both trained fantastically well day in day out, really, really good,” said Woodgate when asked about the pair.
“I’m pleased for the pair of them, now they’ve got to build on that and we’ll look to Friday.”