Ashley Fletcher reveals thoughts on Middlesbrough's lack of discipline after Swansea red cards
Ashley Fletcher doesn’t believe Middlesbrough’s 3-1 defeat to Swansea was a true reflection of the side’s performance at the Liberty Stadium.
Boro were reduced to nine men in South Wales after Marcus Browne and Paddy McNair were sent off for Jonathan Woodgate’s side.
The result has left the Teessiders three points above the relegation zone ahead of Friday’s crucial meeting with Stoke at the Riverside, yet Fletcher believes there is something to build on.
“A lack of discipline really was what cost us,” Fletcher told the Mail. “We weren’t outplayed or outfought. After we got the goal there only looked like one team who was going to win the game.
“The two sending offs killed us but we can’t let that affect us too much.
“We look back over the last week, the Forest game, the Charlton game, we played well and got good performances so we need to take that into the Stoke game.”
Browne and McNair will now serve three-game bans and miss fixtures against Stoke, Huddersfield and West Brom over the Christmas period.
The two dismissals took Boro’s red card count to four this season, and Woodgate was clearly unimpressed with Browne’s tackle, saying the winger would be fined.
When asked if anything has been said to the players regarding their discipline, Fletcher replied: “For me it just looks like people are trying as hard as they can and are eager to impress.
“With Marcus for example, he’d been out of the team through injury and had come back and was a little bit naive, but that’s what you want from your players, you want people showing they are committed.
“I think you can look at it two ways, I look at it as though he was trying his hardest, obviously it’s cost us in the end but he wanted to make his statement and stay in the team.
“Obviously the tackle is a bad tackle but you’d rather him go in like that than pull out of it and let the other team score.”