Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing said his side “should be winning” games like their 2-2 draw away against Barnsley on Saturday afternoon, speaking to the club’s official website.
Boro had to come from behind twice to escape Oakwell with a draw through goals from summer signings Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga.
Experienced midfielder Downing said: “The pleasing thing is we got a point but we should be winning these games. I think we had plenty of chances and it’s disappointing.
“I thought our goals were well worked but we’ve gifted them two poor goals. The own goal (by Ashley Fletcher, after just three minutes) was a bit unlucky but the whole team has to defend better. We’re making mistakes we shouldn’t be making.
“I had a good feeling about today, because the fans were brilliant and behind us all the way. We’ve got quality throughout the squad and there’s a belief we can come back into games.
He concluded: “But we need to be more clinical. You have to fight and scrap in this league and if you want to be at the top we need to finish teams off.”
Boro find themselves eleventh in the table, despite being many people’s early season picks for automatic promotion.
With tough matches against the likes of Leeds and Sunderland to come, Downing’s team mates may be well advised to heed the warnings.
Boro’s main problem so far this season has been slow starts that allow their opposition to get a foothold and often a lead in a game.
It was the case again on Saturday as Barnsley had scored twice within the first ten minutes and left Boro, even with all their attacking prowess, with a mountain to climb.
Therefore, Downing is right, his side have to be more clinical but they also must stop giving teams a head start in games.
Boro fans – do you agree with Downing’s comments? How should Monk go about ending this run of patchy form? Let us know below…