Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate reveals his half-time message after Bristol City draw

Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate thought Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bristol City was his side’s best performance of the season so far.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 3:41 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st September 2019, 5:40 pm
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate

Boro were just nine minutes away from claiming their first away win of the campaign, after an own goal from Taylor Moore and Britt Assombalonga finish put the Teessiders 2-1 up at Ashton Gate – following Kasey Palmer’s first-half opener.

Tommy Rowe rescued a point for the hosts in an end-to-end encounter but Woodgate was full of praise for his players after the match.

“I thought we played really well, I thought we deserved to win the game,” he said. “That's been our best performance this season, the way we played, how aggressive we were passing the ball, to close the ball down.

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“We made a couple of slight changes in the second half. We showed great character at half-time to come back from 1-0 against the run of play. For my team to come back I thought they were top class."

“Disappointed with the two goals but we'll do a lot of work on that in the week."

Woodgate made a tactical tweak at half-time to cope with City’s threat on the counter attack.

After starting the game in a 4-2-2-2 formation, the Robins caused problems when Palmer and Niclas Eliasson cut in from the flanks, giving the hosts a numerical advantage in midfield.

“We just had to be careful of the counter attack because they were sitting deep and really counter attacking us at pace,” added Woodgate. “I just had to tuck Marc Bola into a more midfield zone when we were higher up the pitch.

“Then we have Clayton, Bola, Dael (Fry) and Shotton so weren’t so much wide open and I think that worked for us and we dominated the ball. I haven’t got a bad word to say about any of my players, I thought they were all terrific.

He added: “When Dijksteel was bombing on, Bola was bombing on, sometimes we were two v two. The boys were keen to do it but at times in the Championship you’ll get caught. I didn’t think they counter attacked as much in the second half compared to the first.”