Tony Pulis reveals Middlesbrough's big problem compared to rivals Leeds and Norwich City

Tony Pulis has spoken after Middlesbrough's defeat to Brentford
Tony Pulis has spoken after Middlesbrough's defeat to Brentford

Tony Pulis once again rued a lack of clinical finishing as Middlesbrough fell to defeat against Brentford.

Ashley Fletcher had handed the hosts an early lead, but a Ryan Shotton own goal and a strike from Said Benrahma turned the game on its head in a three-minute period.

Boro, though, had chances to seal the triumph but once again failed to find a second goal after taking the lead.

Whereas promotion rivals Leeds and Norwich City are winning games comfortably, the Teessiders are struggling to hit the net - as they have been all season.

And Pulis felt that was again their downfall against the Bees.

“It’s disappointing because again we had a good start to the game with (Ashley) Fletcher scoring again, good follow-up, we had a couple of good chances and good opportunities again and we needed that second goal," he said, speaking to mfc.co.uk.

“In the second half, Fletcher’s chance when he’s on the back post – we needed that second goal, it takes a little bit of pressure off you and the lads can relax a little bit.

"At 1-0, you’re under pressure.

“It’s a disappointing result for us and we move on – that’s what we have to do.”

Pulis decided to withdraw striker Britt Assombalonga just before Brentford's comeback, with the frontman replaced by defender George Friend in what some supporters perceived to be a negative switch.

And the Middlesbrough chief said he was prepared to face the criticism of fans after that decision back-fired.

!It wasn’t popular decision," he admitted.

"I didn’t think Britt looked sharp, quite at it like he has been. The Fletcher header I expected Britt to move and tap in, it went past him.

“People say that substitution affected the game, if I made a mistake I made a mistake I will hold my hands up.

“The whole squad are together, they are in it together, if I bring anyone off I think it is best for team. If I messed up I messed up, people can look at my decisions and say I have made the wrong decision and I have no problem with that.”