Tony Pulis reveals 'one big disappointment' after Wigan draw as Middlesbrough lose ground on Leeds United and Norwich
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis was disappointed with his side's poor set-piece deliveries following a goalless draw at Wigan.
Boro fell nine points adrift of the automatic promotion places in the Championship, following Leeds' resounding 4-0 victory over West Brom on Friday night and Norwich's 3-1 win at Millwall.
The Teessiders registered 15 shots at the DW Stadium but just one hit the target, as Pulis was left to rue his side's wastefulness in front of goal.
Yet the most disappointing aspect, according to Pulis, was Boro's profligacy from set-plays, despite repeated work on the training ground.
“The one big disappointment today was the set-plays, set-plays were poor today," said Pulis, whose side registered seven corners against the Latics.
"Wingy (Lewis Wing) and Sav (George Saville), we’ve got to be better than that, they are the times and moments today where if we could have scored off a set-play we would have won the game.
“So we’ve had a lot of set-plays but we’ve either hit the front man or outside the back of the goal.
“We spend enough time working on it on the training ground it’s doing on a Saturday.”
The result leaves Boro fifth in the table, seven points inside the play-off places, yet they remain the lowest scorers in the top half of the Championship with just 38 goals in 34 games.
Boro's best chances fell to strikers Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher inside the penalty area, yet neither could make their opportunities count.
Even so, Pulis couldn't fault the effort levels shown by his players, who have lost just one of their last 10 league games.
“The players have given it everything, there’s no easy game, coming to Wigan is not easy, look at the results they have had here," added Pulis.
“You have to take your chances, you get the opportunities, we had more opportunities today, we also had opportunities to play players in, that final pass, and then when we do get clear cut opportunities we have to score.
“We played at Blackburn and got a goal, controlled the game, we had to do that here. They set up and changed shape for us, and we needed to make the most of the chances we got and we didn’t.”
Boro were backed by a bumper crowd at the DW Stadium, with just shy of 4,000 away fans making the trip to Greater Manchester.
Pulis was disappointed his side couldn't provide them with a better result, but once again praised the 'fantastic' supporters.
“We brought 4,000 fans here today and we wanted to score a couple of goals for them," added Pulis.
"I don’t want to take anything away from Wigan because they have worked hard."
When asked if he'd worked at a club which takes such big away followings, Pulis replied: “The away support at the football club is fantastic. I don’t think I have.
"Talking to the lads the other day, away from home is fabulous and we need to give them something to cheer about at home.”