Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate issues strong message after 'terrible' Carabao Cup performance
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate didn’t hold back after his side’s ‘terrible’ Carabao Cup defeat to League Two side Crewe at the Riverside.
Boro found themselves 2-0 down at half-time before forcing a penalty shootout when Marc Bola lashed home a stoppage-time equaliser.
Even so, it was the visitors who prevailed in the shootout and deservedly went through after winning 4-2 on spot kicks.
“Terrible performance,” said Woodgate when asked his thoughts on the display. “Not what I want from my teams but like I’ve said before we are thin on the ground.
“Getting beat 2-0 at home (at half-time), I told my players before the game if you don’t turn up in any game you’ll get done an we didn’t deserve to win the game.
“I’ll take a couple of pluses from Ashley Fletcher’s performance second half, Paddy McNair, Nathan Wood but apart from that, not good at all.
“We were really sloppy from the start, really, really sloppy. It was a chance for players to stake a claim in the team and they haven’t done that.”
Woodgate made ten changes to his side following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Brentford and the players who did come in failed to impress.
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“I’m constantly learning lessons about my players,” added Woodgate when asked about those who came in. “Like I said from the start that wasn’t good enough, Crewe deserved to win the game.
“Penalties can be a lottery and they took their chance on the penalties, it wasn’t good enough.
“If players’ standards drop that’s why you’re getting beat 2-0 at half-time when they think they’re doing ok and some think they can do what they want that’s what happened with the first-half performance.
Boro slightly improved after the break following the introductions of McNair and Fletcher, and Woodgate let his feelings known at the interval.
“I let them know for starters and made a few changes,” said Woodgate when asked about his half-time message.
“I wasn’t happy with that performance and like I say when Paddy came on he offered us more drive, more determination, desire to get forward and more hunger which we didn’t have in the first half.”