TONY Mowbray will welcome the prospect of another “English” test when Middlesbrough continue their build-up to the start of their npower Championship campaign.
Boro head for Carlisle United tomorrow night with red faces to match their home red strip after a defeat to Darlington on Saturday.
After three games unbeaten in Slovenia and Croatia – one win and two draws – Boro came a cropper at the Northern Echo Arena, where the hosts proved a highly-motivated force and deserved their victory.
While Mowbray and right-hand man Mark Venus know a friendly loss is not the end of the world – pre-season is as much about fitness as form – they will not want to lose again at Brunton Park tomorrow against their League One opposition.
Goals from star performer Leroy Lita and midfielder Tarmo Kink were not enough for Boro who, worryingly, conceded four to the Conference Premier side, for whom ex-Pools defender Graeme Lee starred at the back.
“Obviously we don’t like to lose any matches, but there were no points involved,” Mowbray said.
“There were some good things and some bad things.
“We looked half-decent in the first half, but in the second half not a lot happened for us.
“Darlington provided very strong opposition – it was a different type of game from what we had when we were away.
“When we were away we played teams who were happy to keep possession and knock the ball around.
“On Saturday it was more of an English type of game and it shows we still have a little work to do.
“But pre-season has gone pretty well overall and everyone has got some game time.”
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