Good luck for Strachan

24 March 2010 11:22
GORDON STRACHAN last night admitted Middlesbrough's luck had taken a turn for the better as they secured a fortunate 2-0 victory over Preston.[LNB] Boro were outplayed for large periods of a low-key encounter, but goals from Chris Killen and Jonathan Franks extended the club's unbeaten home run to nine matches and lifted them to eighth position in the Championship.[LNB] They've closed to within five points of Cardiff City in the final play-off position, although the Bluebirds can extend that gap when they entertain Sheffield United tonight.[LNB] Preston were cursing their misfortune yesterday evening after Ross Wallace cracked a second-half strike against the post and referee Steve Tanner denied Darren Carter what appeared to be a certain penalty, but after his prematch plans were thrown into chaos by the outbreak of a virus, Strachan felt his side had earned their lucky breaks.[LNB] We've had a traumatic couple of days with injuries, illness and the rest of it, said the Boro boss. The team got changed three or four times before kick-off because a number of bodies were ill or unfit.[LNB] The victory had nothing to do with football, but it had a lot to do with drive, determination and a will not to get beat. It wasn't beautiful to watch, that's for sure, and Preston must be feeling unfortunate they've got beat.[LNB] But this game is the first one since I came where I can say we've had a real bit of luck.[LNB] Killen's 29th-minute header followed Saturday's strike against Reading, and made it three goals in 11 starts since the New Zealand international joined on loan from Celtic.[LNB] Killen has spoken of his desire to earn a permanent contract at the Riverside, and Strachan admits the striker is making an increasingly compelling case.[LNB] He can't do much more than score, he said. I think he's a guy who hasn't played regularly for two years, and the more games he plays, the better he will become.[LNB] Strachan also praised much-maligned goalkeeper Brad Jones, who followed Saturday's impressive display with another solid showing.[LNB] between the sticks.[LNB]

Source: Northern_Echo