Middlesbrough fans earn Mowbray praise
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray hopes their table-topping victory over Sheffield Wednesday inspires the people of Teesside to pack out the Riverside on a regular basis.
Chairman Steve Gibson took the bold step of halving ticket prices for the match, and the 28,229 supporters who attended were rewarded with a rousing 3-1 win that lifted Boro into top spot.
Mowbray said: "It was great to have such a big crowd there for us. A big thank you to all the supporters who came tonight, and thanks to the chairman who put the deal together. That's what I know the Riverside as. We had 11 years in the Premier League with the stadium full."
He added: "I think the supporters hopefully enjoyed the game, seeing their team go top of the table and scoring three goals. I think it was an entertaining game. It's a 35,000-seater stadium and we've had 13, 14 and 15,000 this season and that's woefully empty. We're very appreciative of the people who've come along and spent their hard-earned money in the support of our club.
"With people all around you shouting and waving flags, it must enhance your experience of the football match. The atmosphere of an exciting game is what the supporters want to feel, and thankfully we got the right result."
Justin Hoyte got the ball rolling with an exquisite strike on the outside of his right boot, before Owls striker Gary Madine levelled after the break, despite there being a strong hint of offside in the build-up.
But Mowbray's men rallied and Ishmael Miller made the most of a defensive mistake to convert Scott McDonald's shot, with substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz making the points safe 10 minutes from time.
"We're delighted with the points," Mowbray added. "Every game in this league is very, very tough, whether you're playing a team from the top or from the bottom. They've all got attributes that can hurt you and ultimately we got the three points tonight, even if we made hard work of it."
Wednesday boss Dave Jones saw a spirited comeback thwarted when a sloppy sideways pass found Emmanuel Ledesma, who duly fed McDonald for Boro's second goal.
"I'm getting fed up of saying it, I'm so frustrated," said Jones. "We've wrestled the game back then we commit football suicide. Why we're playing the ball in there I don't know. It's just beyond me."
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