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Neil Warnock rues Middlesbrough’s lack of ‘guile’ during Blackburn stalemate

Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest – Sky Bet Championship – Riverside Stadium
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Neil Warnock said his side lacked a “bit of quality” after Middlesbrough drew 0-0 at Blackburn Rovers.

The visitors looked the likeliest to score and registered 20 shots on target during a game in which their immaculate deliveries provided gilt-edged chances for Britt Assombalonga and Dael Fry.

Former Boro goalkeeper Aynsley Pears spectacularly denied Marcus Tavernier as Warnock’s side had to settle for a point.

But they remain just two points from the top two and have not lost since the opening weekend.

After making it four unbeaten on the road, Warnock wanted that extra “guile”, but was full of praise for the overall performance.

He said: “Didn’t have anything fall for us and missed a couple of good chances first half.

“I always felt if we got that goal, we might have got two or three. But all credit to them, they flung their bodies in, got their tackles in, desperate for that point and they managed to get away with it.

“We are a young side. They’re doing things now they probably didn’t realise they could do.

“We looked a good side tonight but you just need that break to get the goals. The good sides win those 1-0. We’re not quite there yet.

“They are really playing well but just need to have that little bit more guile and devilment.

“I can’t fault the effort, you saw that out there. It’s just that little bit of quality sometimes that you need to take opportunities. But we’ve got what we’ve got but we’ll give it a good go.”

Blackburn’s bright start to the season is fading, with Rovers winless in three.

Tony Mowbray “didn’t enjoy” the game but attributes the low confidence to the injuries and Covid isolations his side have suffered.

He said: “I haven’t got many thoughts other than let’s hope there’s not many like that for the rest of the season.

“I just said to the TV there that if they’d been watching us for most of the year, we’ve been pretty good. Yet the night they decide to come along, they get that as a performance from both teams.

“Middlesbrough do what they do and are really hard to play against, and really resilient, and ask questions of you.

“For us, the signs are there for us of low confidence, an unbalanced team. No left side balance at all, no defensive-minded midfielders.

“The goalkeeper (Thomas Kaminski) was settling in nicely. Pears kept a clean sheet tonight of course. But it wasn’t nice to watch tonight. I didn’t enjoy it.

“Let’s take the point and move on. I think we could have easily lost it, but could have won it as well.”