'I hate losing like that' - Neil Warnock reacts as Middlesbrough are beaten at home by Birmingham City
Neil Warnock was left frustrated by Middlesbrough’s defeat to Birmingham on an afternoon when the old-stager equalled a long-standing record.
The Boro boss took charge of his 1,601st match in English professional football. He will now break Dario Gradi’s incredible total on Tuesday by leading his side into battle at Luton.
But Warnock was understandably aggrieved by the fact Middlesbrough’s three-match winning run came to an end when Birmingham recorded a 2-0 victory.
The Blues edged ahead eight minutes after the restart when Middlesbrough goalkeeper Joe Lumley completely misjudged Jordan Graham’s free-kick into the area. Marc Roberts headed into the empty net.
Less than three minutes later Scott Hogan was played in behind Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier before the striker tucked a lovely finish low and beyond Lumley to wrap up the points.
Warnock said: “I will still be disappointed when I get home tonight. I will still be horrible to be with sat next to my missus.
“I don’t think it changes too much how many games I have had, but I don’t think I will forget nights like tonight when I do call it a day, when I am fishing and managers are being put through the mill.
“Because I have done 1600 games you have to get over difficult results otherwise it drives you daft. I don’t know how I have done that many games to be honest. It is an incredible achievement and I don’t even think I realised myself what an achievement it was.
“But I hate losing like that, I don’t think they won it I think we threw it away.
“It was disappointing. I didn’t think they beat us, we beat ourselves. The first goal was always going to win this the way Birmingham play.
“We were punished for giving a goal away like we have. If you don’t think Lumley isn’t disappointed then you’d be wrong. If there was a hole he would have crawled into it. But at the other end Uche Ikpeazu missed a header that was just a bad.”
For Birmingham, manager Lee Bowyer was delighted with an outcome that has lifted them higher up the table – and he thinks Hogan will be happier to have ended a run of six matches without a goal.
Bowyer said: “It was a good away, solid performance. Very professional. We deserved to win the game.
“We could have taken control of the ball in the final third better and we would have more. That opening goal was the pivotal point of the game. I thought the keeper would get there but Roberts got there and I was pleased it went in.
“We were solid, all three centre-halves looked comfortable whatever they threw at us.
“Scott playing on the shoulder of Bamba, we worked on that this week. The one time we took care of that, we put it in the right area, he got a goal.
“It has been a tough one for him. He should be smiling now. He knows he should have scored more goals. We should have more points on the board. Hopefully we can go on Tuesday and build again on this.
“I always believe what I bring. What I see, what I do with my group of players I work with.”