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Chris Wilder make claim about his Middlesbrough squad after friendly defeat

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Chris Wilder is not willing to get too concerned over Middlesbrough’s pre-season preparations despite their recent defeat to Braga.

The Portuguese outfit came out on top in a convincing 3-0 victory over the Championship club.

It was their final game before returning to Britain having gotten their pre-season training underway in Portugal earlier this month.

Wilder’s side have two more friendlies to come before the actual campaign starts at the end of July.

Games against Morecambe and Marseille will be the last chance the Boro boss has to evaluate his squad before the first kick-off takes place for the new term.

But, while he was unhappy with the performance in the recent defeat, the 54-year old is not planning on dwelling too much on the ramifications of the game.

“I didn’t like the way that we played tonight. We didn’t play well” said Wilder, via the Northern Echo.

“You can hear the [supporters] and we want to reward them because they’ve been fabulous tonight and got right behind the team right the way through but you are going to have a disappointing night or day through the season so even though it is pre-season, I want them to hurt a little bit.

“I don’t want them to be happy, I’m not happy. We’ve not played well against a good side. It’s been pretty comfortable for them and it’s been a tough evening for us. 

“But there are no points lost or won in pre-season so I didn’t enjoy it and the players know that but it’s how you recover and I’m sure we will recover. We’ll get on with it and move forward.”

Boro finished 7th in the table last season, just narrowly missing out on a play-off place.

But it was an impressive campaign from the team following the appointment of Wilder in November of last year.

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The season also saw the team earn some big name scalps in the FA Cup along the way, knocking out Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur en route to the quarter finals.

Their opening fixture of the new campaign comes against West Brom on July 30.

The Verdict

While it is obviously preferable to have good pre-season results and performances, a friendly loss to Braga is hardly indicative of what’s to come when the real games start.

Braga are a club with European pedigree having made the semi-finals of the Europa League last season, so there is also no real shame in losing so comfortably to such quality.

It may also be good for the team to suffer this kind of defeat in order to raise awareness of the standard required from the side going forward.

But come May of next year, we won’t be reflecting on this 3-0 defeat with much importance, which Wilder can recognise so it’s good to just move on quickly.


Irish sports writer

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Chris Wilder make claim about his Middlesbrough squad after friendly defeat

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