George Friend disappointed by Middlesbrough dressing room 'issues'
Last Updated: 12/05/17 2:47pm
George Friend has revealed not all Middlesbrough players were pulling in the same direction as the club fought a long and ultimately unsuccessful battle against relegation.
Speaking exclusively to Soccer Saturday at the club's Rockcliffe training base, Friend admitted he was upset with the actions of some of his team-mates during the campaign.
"I've been disappointed with a few things in the dressing room this season. I don't really want to say more than that but there have been a few issues and it's very disappointing," said the defender.
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"I think players who know what it means to play for this club can help it achieve great things like we've done in the past. Perhaps people's heads got turned, I'm not going to speak for others.
"Everyone's individual career is different and it's important to look after yourself but at the same time if you're paid by a club, you play for that club.
"You train every day if you're fit and if you're selected you play on the weekend. For me, that's the way it goes. I think if you get that throughout the whole dressing room you will get success."
Relegation was confirmed when Steve Agnew's side lost 3-0 at Chelsea on Monday Night Football.
But Friend believes the club can make a swift return to the top division if the attitude across all the playing staff is the same.
"We've gone down but we're in a strong position," he added. "We can review, rebuild and come back stronger and use it as a great experience for those who haven't played in the Premier League before, and for those that have, use it as a bit of a lesson."
The defender, who has captained the side on several occasions this season, also believes the fans deserves a huge amount of credit for sticking with the team during tough times this season.
When Antonio Conte applauded the visiting support after Chelsea's victory at Stamford Bridge, Friend recognised the importance of the Italian's gesture.
"He noticed what our fans were doing and they have done that all season," Friend continued. "They haven't had an enjoyable season to watch and they have been absolutely amazing.
"They have been filling out the Riverside and every away allocation. They don't stop singing, they don't stop cheering, they could have booed us off the pitch on a number of occasions but they've stuck there and sung their hearts out and that's a great credit to this football club and the area."
You can see an extended interview with George Friend on Soccer Saturday from 12pm on Sky Sports News HQ