Middlesbrough deserve a change of fortune – Agnew

Caretaker boss Steve Agnew argued that Middlesbrough just needed a change of fortune to start turning their season around – after he presided over a second 1-0 away defeat in five days.

Boro’ might have snatched a point in injury time at Carrow Road had substitute Scott McDonald taken their best chance of the match, but he shot wide from Nicky Bailey’s cross.

“I said to the players ‘If you keep passing the ball, keep moving it, you will create an opportunity’. We did, we passed it, we moved it, it came across to Scott and it just went wide,” said Agnew.

“But I thought that was the opportunity we had worked for all game, playing the style of football we all like to watch, and unfortunately it just went wide of the post.”

Middlesbrough lost 1-0 at Nottingham Forest last Tuesday, the day after Gordon Strachan resigned as manager and Agnew was given temporary charge of the side.


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“I think both myself and Mark Proctor and the players have worked really hard in a limited number of days, and again today I felt we didn’t deserve to lose the game,” he said. “We need a break as a team and the supporters need a break. That will happen and happen soon and when it does then we will move forward.”

Agnew also felt there may have been a hint of offside about Simeon Jackson’s winner for the Canaries, but was not protesting.

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He said: “My initial reaction was I thought it was offside. I just saw two yellow shirts behind the back four, but it was off camera when I had a look at the video and I couldn’t quite see, so until I see the whole thing again I wouldn’t be accurate in my views on it.

“It was disappointing to concede just before half-time. I thought in the first half we were fine. There was no real threat – they hit the inside of the post and apart from that I don’t think Jason Steele had much to do.

“I thought it was important to get to half-time at 0-0 and then take the game to Norwich in the second half. I actually thought we did that, we had a lot of controlled possession and pushed them right back on to their 18-yard box, but there was no real penetration.”

Agnew, first team coach before Strachan’s departure, declined to discuss whether he wanted the job permanently.

He said: “I think the most important thing right now is Middlesbrough Football Club, which has a fantastic chief executive and chairman. They know where the club is at, they understand the situation we’re in. I’m just looking after the first team players and for supporters as well, it’s a really difficult time. The football club is the priority. We all have to do our jobs, to realise where we’re at and how we get out of this.”

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