Tony Pulis hits out at Middlesbrough defending and reacts to Adama Traore red card

Boro midfielders Adam Clayton (left) and Mo Besic try to thwart Sunderland sub Jonny Williams. Picture by Frank Reid
Boro midfielders Adam Clayton (left) and Mo Besic try to thwart Sunderland sub Jonny Williams. Picture by Frank Reid

Tony Pulis was left frustrated on a number of fronts after Middlesbrough threw away two points in the final seconds against Sunderland.

A second-half brace from Patrick Bamford and a Grant Leadbitter penalty had put Boro 3-2 up but Callum McManaman’s volley in the 96th minute sealed a point for Sunderland.

Adama Traore sees red at the Stadium of Light. Picture by Frank Reid

Adama Traore sees red at the Stadium of Light. Picture by Frank Reid

Boro climbed a place to seventh in the Championship just outside the play-off spots.

But Pulis felt McManaman’s goal arrived after the allocated six minutes of added-on time, he also felt left-back Bryan Oviedo should have been punished after he claimed the left-back provoked Adama Traore into pushing him over.

Pulis was also frustrated with his players’ defending.

“We are disappointed,” said Pulis. “They score in the 97th minute not the 96th.

“When the corner comes in you expect it to be defended better.

“We conceded two goals from a long throw and a corner. That is disappointing.

“It is a derby game, irrespective of what Chris [Coleman] says.

“Those games are fiery, played with passion and tempo and it must have been a great game to watch there was so much going on.

“There’s really good things about this team I like, but other things they have to really toughen up to.

“Seeing games out, seeing things through is one of them.

“It’s the mental stuff, the last opportunity of the game is when you puff your chest out and dig in, concentrate, I am disappointed for the fans.”

Pulis claimed Oviedo had poked Traore in the eye, sparking the furious response from the winger which led to him being sent off but Chris Coleman was doubtful of that claim.

Pulis said: “Adama’s sending-off was a disappointment, Oviedo has walked round the back of him and poked him in the eye, Adama has raised his hands and shouldn’t have shoved him in the chest.

“We will see what the FA or the Football League have to say. It is a reaction, I said to him afterwards you can’t react because you will get punished and he was.

“Let’s hope and pray people look at it and see what Oviedo has done.

“He has not pushed him for no reason.”

Ex-Sunderland midfielder Leadbitter didn’t celebrate his successful penalty. He did go over to touch the spot on the pitch where his father’s ashes were scattered.

Pulis, who took the experienced Leadbitter off after he felt his hamstring, said: “Grant has a lot of feelings for Sunderland as well as us, it is only right.”