'We will always be a target in this division' - Chris Wilder reacts as Middlesbrough leave it late against Blackpool

Chris Wilder knows his Middlesbrough side have a target on their backs in the Sky Bet Championship but revelled in a last-gasp 2-1 win away to Blackpool.

Thursday, 30th December 2021, 9:48 am
Carlos Corberán head coach of Huddersfield Town greets Chris Wilder the manager of Middlesbrough. (Photo by John Early/Getty Images)

Duncan Watmore’s goal in the 93rd minute snatched all three points for Boro, with the home side having seemingly earned a point with an injury-time equaliser from Shayne Lavery.

Andraz Sporar had given Boro the lead and, while his team were not at their best, Wilder was delighted to come away with all three points.

He said: “It was a bit of a spectacular finish wasn’t it?

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Chris Wilder, manager of Middlesbrough. (Photo by John Early/Getty Images)

“It’s been a tough night overall, but we’ve found a way to get a result in the end.

“We weren’t at our best and we knew it would be tough here at Blackpool, but we got there in the end.

“I’m never embarrassed to go and enjoy a win like this.

“Blackpool were really aggressive and they asked a lot of questions of us.

“That’s the Championship for you, though. There are difficult hurdles for us to get over, but we’ve got our win.

“We needed qualities and characteristics to get what was a big win for us. Don’t forget this would have been a big scalp for Blackpool.

“We’re a big club, we’re in form and we will always be a target in this division.

“All the lads showed terrific attitude and character. It was a stop-start performance, it wasn’t fluid, but we’ve got over the line and it was great to see our 3,500 fans celebrating in the way they did.”

Blackpool have now lost five of their last six, with this defeat particularly cruel considering they twice hit the post through Gary Madine and Callum Connolly.

But manager Neil Critchley remained upbeat at the way his depleted side, missing a host of players through injury and Covid, competed against one of the division’s heavy hitters.

He said: “That was a brilliant effort from my lads in what was a really good game.

Middlesbrough are in great form, but we showed terrific energy and passion. If we keep playing like that, we’ll be okay in this league.

“We’ve had no luck really – I thought we definitely deserved something. We gave Middlesbrough a proper game tonight, but we still lost and this game is about results.

“There’s lots for me to be proud of in the performance, but as we all know football is a cruel game and that was a cruel way for us to lose the game. We don’t deserve to feel like this.

“We’ve had to patch the team up, but they’ve all carried out our plan really well.

“We’re gutted, though. I thought we deserved our equaliser, we caused Middlesbrough lots of problems, but things just go against you sometimes.”