8:00am Saturday 5th October 2013
MUSTAPHA CARAYOL held his hands up on Tuesday night to apologise for his performance, but Tony Mowbray did not see any reason why the winger had to.
Carayol apologised to his teammates before he took to Twitter after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town to say: “Don't normally tweet about games but I have to apologise about my individual performance 2night...not acceptable!”
The forward had lost the ball a number of times, including one lofted pass straight into the West Stand, but Mowbray does not expect his creative players to be on their game all the time.
“Muzzy verbally apologised to us on Tuesday night and he didn’t need to. Muzzy’s a winger. And wingers, throughout the history of football, have been brilliant then anonymous. The nature of their game brings an inconsistency,” said Mowbray, who brought Carayol off in the second half against the Terriers.
“I thought our best moments were from Muzzy driving through the midfield, driving at their back four looking to slip someone in, he had a fantastic shot which their keeper made a great save from, yet there were moments where he lost the ball or ran down blind alleys.
“I fully understand the qualities he brings, there’s no need to apologise to anybody because he can win us football matches as well as have bad nights.
“The group are very honest. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be here. I work with people that only have the team at heart, for the team and want to be a part of it, it’s been a few years of trying to get to this point, now we’re at this point I keep saying it’s almost unfortunate for the team because they are such a fantastic group with a great spirit, the results will come and they’ll get what they deserve.”
Without a win in eight games, Middlesbrough need a victory against Yeovil today in order to head into the international break in a confident manner, and Mowbray knows his side are not too far away from that.
“Every game is a must-win game in football these days,” said Mowbray, who is set to give Ben Gibson his third consecutive start owing to Jonathan Woodgate’s calf injury.
“It’s the next game, one we target to win. Let’s wait and see.
“Yeovil are a very hard-working, honest side, you look at their record this year, they’ve only picked up points away from home, they’ve not won at home.
“We try to set our teams up to be positive, we try to attack, try and score goals, try and entertain. I’ve always done that and I will continue to do that. We are looking to strengthen defensively, to create competition, having identified the issues goes a long way to solve the problem.
“If we were sitting here bamboozled by why we can’t win matches we’d have a problem. But we know the problems, and we’re trying to rectify them and trying to improve the players every day. If we can bring in others to help, then that’ll be great and I’m sure we’d improve.
About Gibson, Mowbray said: “Sometimes in the adversity of injuries, players get opportunities, and Ben hasn’t gone out on loan this season, because we can see the improvement, see the physical development the boy has got as he has reached 20.
“It’s still a delicate age, at this level, to be a regular in the team, and yet he got an opportunity and he’s grabbed it. He did very well at QPR despite a ridiculous penalty against him, he scored a great goal on Tuesday night, he’s honest, brave, all the qualities you’d want from a central defender.
“I know he’ll have a long and successful career but let’s hope in the next few weeks he can play his part and help pick up some victories.”
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