Tony Mowbray scathing of Blackburn Rovers after loss to Middlesbrough
Britt Assombalonga scores winner and Blackburn's Derrick Williams is sent off
Last Updated: 17/02/19 9:21pm
Tony Mowbray was critical of an "unrecognisable" display from Blackburn Rovers after they lost 1-0 at home to Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Britt Assombalonga scored in the 19th minute and Rovers had Derrick Williams sent off late in the first half.
The home side had just one shot on target as they lost to Boro for the first time since 2012.
Blackburn manager Mowbray said: "I couldn't recognise my team in the first half.
"I've been here two years next week and I don't know where that came from to be honest. I said to them at half-time that it's an unrecognisable football team from the one I see week in, week out.
"Today we lacked fire, desire and energy. Win, lose or draw, we have more fight and desire and quality than we showed in the first half. Second half was better.
"You're playing against a decent team. With 11 men, I think we'd have given it a better go second half. It's not easy to create chances against the best defence in the league, yet we created a few.
"Their keeper made a great save, and you'd have had money on Danny Graham putting the ball in when he's passed the last defender and running down on goal, and yet it wasn't to be today."
Boro kept their first clean sheet of 2019 but manager Tony Pulis was disappointed they didn't win by a greater margin.
"We had 26 shots on goal today and only scored one goal and that's really been our Achilles' heel since I've been at the football club.
"We've got to be more ruthless in front of goal. At times we played really well, controlled the game, created chances.
"And when you think of the circumstances - losing [Aden Flint] Flinty, losing [Daniel] Ayala, then George [Friend] having to come off - we needed to dig in and work together as a group and that's what they did.
"Fair play to Blackburn. They worked very hard.
"We've had a couple of days to work and talk about it, and you have to get on with things at times. You can't be bemoaning injuries, suspensions and the run of the ball, which haven't gone for us.
"You can get a little bit down on yourself but they've shown great character. We wanted to be positive here."