Jonathan Woodgate explains second-half substitution and praises Middlesbrough youngster after Blackburn draw

Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate felt his side could have taken all three points against Blackburn following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the Riverside.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 5:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 4:39 pm
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate praised his players after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Blackburn.

The hosts came from behind after Hayden Coulson came off the bench to score his first senior goal, cancelling out Lewis Travis’ opener.

Boro created several chances in the closing stages, the best of which fell to Rudy Gestede, who saw his towering header saved by goalkeeper Christian Walton in the 88th minute.

When asked his thoughts on the match, Woodgate said: “I thought we started off really well, on the front foot, creating chances, getting balls in the box.

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“Then for some reason we started giving stupid passes away, trying to do too much. Second half we started a lot brighter.

“They got the goal against the run of play really, a sloppy goal, we shouldn't be conceding from those types of areas but then we get the goal back and could easily win the game with the chances we had at the end.

Woodgate made several attacking substitutions in the second half as Coulson, Gestede and Britt Assombalonga were all introduced.

After drawing level 15 minutes from time, Boro continued to throw men forward to try and snatch a winner, a move which almost paid off.

“I think it’s important to try and win games,” added Woodgate. “As I said right at the start, I want to try and win football matches.

“Sometimes it will pay off, sometimes it doesn’t but I think it’s important at home to try and win the game.

“I thought the substitutions were brave putting Rudy, Britt and with (Ashley) Fletcher still on the pitch with Hayden Coulson flying forward it paid off.

“Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Woodgate also changed his formation at 1-0 down, bringing on Coulson as a left winger as the hosts switched to a back four.

“When Hayden came on I thought he was fantastic,” said Woodgate. “He was ill before the last game and didn’t recover in time. He’s trained three days really so I thought it was important to bring him off the bench and he made a big difference.”