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Chris Wilder finds a positive but admits ‘it’s a bit tough at the moment’

Stoke City v Middlesbrough – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder was pleased to banish the demons of Tuesday’s defeat to Cardiff but admitted his side were edgy in the 0-0 draw against Rotherham.

After conceding three goals in the first half of a 3-2 defeat to the Bluebirds, Boro kept out the Millers but were unable to break the deadlock themselves and head into the international break in the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

“I’m all right. It’s an arm wrestle at the moment,” said the Boro boss. “It’s not free-flowing, it’s a bit tough at the moment but we’ve just got to dig in.

“I thought the players’ attitude was good and I didn’t think it was a negative performance, I thought it was an edgy performance. It wasn’t free-flowing.

“We’ll look at it and maybe we will have created the clearer of the chances in the game but we didn’t take them, so we have to look at ourselves on that.”

Speaking about the loss to Cardiff, he continued: “After 40 minutes on Tuesday scratching your head at where you are going to get a clean sheet, we managed to do that – and that is a positive.

“The sun is not always shining and it is not always an easy game. You take that split second longer, you don’t play that first-time pass and have an extra touch, which slows the game down.

“We’ve watched them (Rotherham) and they are not in a false position. They are a hard-working side and possibly one of the last teams you’d want to play tonight.

“Playing a team without any character tonight might have been a bit easier for us but it was a tough evening. We knew it would be.”

With two weeks away from domestic action, Wilder vowed that his side can turn their fortunes around as he added: “We are 10 games (in to the season), we haven’t got the points total that we want but we just have to keep going and come through this little sticky period that we are at.”

Rotherham manager Paul Warne walked away from the Riverside the happier of the two managers after an uneventful game on Teesside.

He said: “I thought we limited them to very few full chances and it was a tiring match. I thought both sets of players looked exhausted by the end.

“First half there was a real pace to the game and the ball hardly went out of play but in the second half, as a spectacle and as a game, I thought it fizzled out. That’s what it felt like on the side of the pitch.

“In games like that, sometimes you are lucky and you can nick a set piece and take all three points. However, you can concede one and all of that effort is worth nothing, so overall I am the happier of the managers because they definitely created more good play in the final third than we did.”

Rotherham currently sit outside of the play-offs in eighth place, but Warne is not getting carried away, adding: “We’re still only as good as we’ve been and maybe a couple of times we’ve been fortunate.

“We’re still only four points off the bottom three. It doesn’t feel like we’re flying. It just feels like we’re doing really well at the moment and we are quite fortunate with injuries.”

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