Proud Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock laughed off his side’s “boring” tag after stretching their unbeaten run to 10 games with a goalless draw at Brentford.
Both sides had their chances but wayward finishing and two resolute defences meant a stalemate was the fairest outcome.
Boro have shipped five goals all season and scored just nine, but Warnock is unrepentant.
He said: “We’re not in the slightest bit negative. I think we play quite attractive football that people like to watch.
“This is the best team I’ve had football-wise and I don’t think we’re boring, but we are frustrated that we don’t have someone knocking 20 goals in.
“I couldn’t ask any more of them today. They gave me absolutely everything, we finished strongly and there was only one team going to win it at the end.”
Warnock was delighted that his tactics forced Brentford to abandon their usual slick passing game for a more direct approach as the game wore on.
“You come to places like this and you have to be happy to have restricted them to very few chances. It was nice to see Brentford go long ball in the end,” he said.
Warnock also paid tribute to his defensive lynchpins of Dael Fry and Paddy McNair.
He said: “Dael was like a Rolls Royce today and Paddy, well Paddy is Paddy.
“But it’s a group thing and I’m proud of our defensive record because the boys have worked really hard at it. They looked good in pre-season and they have just blossomed from there.”
Boro might have won it if Chuba Akpom had found the target with a late effort, but Warnock insisted: “He did well to turn and then couldn’t keep it down but I can’t fault any of them.
“I’d have Ivan Toney from them because he’ll only get better but Chuba and Britt Assombalonga are likely to score 15 goals. Who am I going to buy better than what I have for the money I’ve got?”
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank insisted “there is more to come from this group” after a third home draw in a row.
“It was always going to be a very tight game and it went more or less as I expected. If we had won the three points it would have been a really good three points,” he said.
“We played a good game but not a top game but we didn’t give anything away and they only had a half-chance, but Middlesbrough play in a completely different way to every other team in the division and their players are aligned with that.”
Brentford struggled to counter Boro’s man-marking and stop-start approach to the game, which frustrated the rhythm of the hosts.
But Frank said: “We knew they’d be like that, but it was still 3-1 to us in terms of chances and if we take just one of them we win a tight game. That’s the fine margins we need.”
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