Chris Wilder has defiant play-off message to Middlesbrough squad

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder was defiant after watching his side lose more ground in the race for a play-off Championship berth with a 1-1 draw at Swansea.

Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 6:57 pm
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder. PA picture.
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder. PA picture.

Wilder insisted his out-of-form team can still make the top six – even though they are now five points adrift of the cut with just three matches left to play.

A goal by Australian midfielder Riley McGree gave Boro a 46th-minute lead at the Stadium, only for in-form Swans striker Michael Obafemi to cancel it out almost immediately.

Asked if his side could still make the top six, Wilder said: “Yes, 100 per cent. I haven’t got a crystal ball, I don’t know what’s in front of us but there is no given result in this division.

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“The teams above us have difficult games to play, the teams around us have difficult games to play – as do we.

“We’re back home on Wednesday night (against Cardiff) and it’s a season-defining game.”

The match exploded into life in the second half with both sides scoring and going close by either hitting the woodwork or wasting good opportunities.

Wilder added: “It was carnage at times and from a neutrals’ point of view probably fabulous viewing.

“There could have been a few heart-attacks for both managers and arguably we’ve had the best opportunities of the game.

“I don’t think it would have been a smash and grab, it would have been us winning a really tight game.”

Despite Wilder’s optimism Boro now look virtual certainties to remain in the Championship having taken two points from a possible 15 in their last five outings.

They remain in eighth spot.