Chris Wilder reacts as Middlesbrough draw with Millwall

New Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder felt disappointed at coming away from his first game in charge with just a point against Millwall.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 3:36 pm
Chris Wilder. (Photo by John Sibley - Pool/Getty Images)

The Championship clash ended 1-1 as Matt Crooks gave Boro the lead in the 15th minute with a back-post header before a Sol Bamba own goal 12 minutes later brought Millwall back into the match.

The point for both sides left Middlesbrough 14th in the table, five places behind Millwall.

Wilder said: “First and foremost I’d like to thank the supporters. It was quite humbling. It’s been 20 months out of it without supporters for me.

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“The reception right the way through, even the week and going into today and before the game, the supporters there early, the reception we got was a humbling experience.

“Then it’s game on. I’m a bit disappointed with the result but the performance was OK. We ran out of a bit of energy second half.

“Two or three things went against us which were out of our control. But the attitude was there.

“If you can’t get a win against a really competitive side – you look at the balance of their side and the depth of their squad – they’re bringing experienced players on that could get into quite a few Championship sides.”

Millwall boss Gary Rowett was satisfied with the outcome given the circumstances surrounding the new manager at the Riverside.

He said: “That’s three tough games in certain ways, we’ve won one and drawn two, where we’ve opportunities in the game to win.

“Today was a little bit of a different game. I think it was coming into the unknown to a certain degree with Chris’ first game.

“We had a good idea of how they would play but you don’t know so preparation is a little bit more of a challenge.

“We spoke a lot about the first 15 minutes with the crowd being hugely motivated to see a new manager start brightly and we knew that they would start brightly against us.

“I think we navigated some of those moments quite well but then became a little bit wasteful on the ball and when we lost it, the likes of Crooks and (Duncan) Watmore just started to get into very good positions on the transition and started to cause us problems.

“Mainly, from long distance. There wasn’t any clear cut, any real good, chances. There was a lot of shots from distance and a lot of shots that Bart (Bartosz Bialkowski) saved. But he’s a top-class keeper and I would expect him to make quite a few of those saves.”