Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock reveals why he changed formation and left Ravel Morrison out of the squad at Millwall

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock says Middlesbrough worked on a change of shape ahead of their trip to Millwall and was pleased with how his players stood up and were counted.

Boro lined-up with a back three and wing-backs at The Den, a formation which hadn’t been used by Warnock in his three previous games.

The Teessiders claimed a huge 2-0 win in South East London courtesy of a Britt Assombalonga finish and Ashley Fletcher penalty.

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It was a complete contrast to Sunday’s abject defeat by QPR at the Riverside, and Warnock was pleased with his side’s response.

"I just said to the lads it’s a place we have to stand up and be counted, every one of them,” said the Boro boss. “I thought from the first minute our attitude was fabulous.

"I thought Shotts (Ryan Shotton) came in was super, to say he hasn’t played for ages.

“We worked on the system this week and it just seemed to suit everybody, we were disappointed against QPR but we haven’t got time to get down. I said to them let's break some of the other teams’ hearts.”

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When asked about his formation switch, Warnock added: “After the QPR and Hull results you just have to go back to the drawing board.

“I felt we needed a new voice and Ryan had done well in training. I felt it suited us with Jonny Howson filling in in front of the back four.”

Warnock and his coaching staff were unhappy at a couple of decisions which went against them in the first half and felt his side should have been awarded a penalty.

“There were one or two incidents, like when Djed broke his nose, we weren’t happy with that,” Warnock added.

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“When you come to Millwall you have to stand up and be counted and I thought everyone to a man was magnificent.”

There was no place in the squad for Ravel Morrison with defender Anfernee Dijksteel starting on the bench instead.

When asked about Morrison, Warnock replied: “I just wanted to go with Dijksteel today, I thought I might use Dijksteel more.

“I didn’t think Millwall was a place where I’d put Rav on if I’m honest.”