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Stone Reflects On Middlesbrough Draw

6 October 2019

Steve Stone rued an opportunity missed as his young guns let Middlesbrough off the hook in the Premier league Cup opener.

The Clarets took the lead in the 11th minute through Scott Wilson, only for a Ben Liddle penalty in the 87th minute to earn Boro a share of the spoils

And Stone believes his players should have put the game to bed, with previous chances spurned leading up to the late penalty.

The U23s boss said: “I think if you look from the start, we started the first 15/20 minutes really well.

“Once we got to grips with the shape and the system, we had chances really early on to win the game.

“But once again, like most games we haven’t put them to bed.

“That normally then comes back to haunt you, which it did today as they got a penalty with three minutes to go.

“Then you have to accept the fact a 1-1 draw comes to bite you on the backside, because you haven’t finished your chances off early on.

“But we showed great character, commitment, work rate and all those things that you are looking for in players.

“The pitch was obviously a massive factor, but they worked really hard and we have played against a Category One side there. People will ask the questions ;can we cope with 'Cat One' and all the rest of it, but I think that has just proved we can.”

Match action shot 2.jpg

Despite conceding the late goal, Stone’s men still remain unbeaten in all 10 games in all competitions this season.

The U23 head coach also admitted that it’s a great achievement to be still unbeaten in October and it shows great characteristics.

“It’s a great achievement for them, you go into a game like this wondering where the group is at," he added.

“Today they have showed they can compete against 'Cat One' sides and being unbeaten still shows great character.

“We play the way we do to get players a career in the game, and the unbeaten run at the moment is part of it, along with the mentality to keep going again and again".


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