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Strachan says Boro must do better
Published : 17 Mar 2010 09:50:00
The Teessiders looked on course for a Championship victory at Pride Park on Tuesday night after Barry Robson's superb volley gave them the half-time lead. But, after Boro had wasted a host a chances soon after the restart, Derby staged an unlikely turnaround to edge in front after goals from substitute Chris Porter and Michael Tonge, whose 20-yard volley matched that of Robson in the first half. Strachan's side needed a last-minute equaliser from substitute Leroy Lita to rescue them a 2-2 draw and keep them on the coattails of the teams in the top six. "Sometimes there's a lack of experience and concentration in our side and if we can rectify that, then we'll be a very good side," said Strachan. "If we keep losing goals like tonight, it will make (the play-offs) impossible. "It's possible if we do that and take our chances but you can't be missing chances at one end and giving goals away at the other." The Scot added: "We gave Derby hope. If we took our chances then I don't think they would have had that. "We could have been two or three up by the time they scored and then we went 2-1 down, which was quite unbelievable at that point. "We're disappointed but they showed great spirit and kept going by playing the ball forward and making us work, and if you keep doing that then you always have a chance." Rhys Williams was sent off just before Lita equalised to leave Strachan short of midfield options ahead of Saturday's game against Reading. He added: "He got a bit emotional and you can't be emotional as a football player. You must stay focused. "It doesn't help us and I have spoken to him about that. But to lose a man and still come back and get a point from the game means I suppose we have to be happy." Derby boss Nigel Clough accused his side of naivety after surrendering a winning position against 10 men. The Rams conceded a needless free-kick on the left and Robson's inswinging cross was glanced home by the head of Lita. Clough insists his players must learn from the experience. "It's disappointing having been 1-0 down for a long time and then to come back and go 2-1 up against 10-men," said Clough. "We gave a daft free-kick away and didn't defend it and got punished for it. We're getting punished for every little thing at the moment. "But it's part of the learning process and we have to see games out better than that. "There was an element of naivety at times. We went for another goal when we didn't need one and people have got to do their jobs defensively a little bit better. "We've got a back-four all over six foot tall. (Rob) Hulse and Porter are over six foot and a 5ft 9in striker gets a free header."