Wolves 1 Middlesbrough 2: Southgate’s key to keep Boro afloat

26 January 2009 01:52
Balancing act: Stewart Downing attempts to slip the ball past Wolves¿ Edwards But as Southgate explained afterwards, the FA Cup has been key to Boro’s previous Premier League survival campaign. He feels it could be again as Wolves kept their big guns fresh for a clash of the Championship’s top two on Tuesday at Reading and he can look forward to a trip to West Ham in the fifth round. It is a shame the hosts could not have fielded a full-strength team. Simply, with the riches on offer for promotion, McCarthy described it as ‘folly’ to do so. Southgate saw it differently.   More. FA CUP fifth round draw: Watford set for Chelsea test, Hull face Sheffield United, Swansea host Fulham and West Ham meet Middlesbrough Wolves v Middlesbrough: How the action unfolded MIDDLESBROUGH FC NEWS ACROSS THE WEB ‘We have made the quarter-finals twice in recent years and that has coincided with our League form improving. 'We felt we had to field the strongest side possible to get a result. ‘They’ve got momentum and we haven’t. A lot of people would have expected us to have got turned over and we haven’t and that’s great credit to the players. ‘Consistency has been a problem for us, but we’ve responded well in recent years to ties against lower division sides. Middlesbrough's Marvin Emnes celebrates his goal against Wolves 'Our attitude has been good. Sometimes we lack experience and against the very best in the Premier League you’re up against different quality. 'But there is a good bond there.’ Southgate, a grounded manager if ever there was one, said the warm glow from the result would disappear ‘after about half-an-hour’. That probably had something to do with a trip to Chelsea on Wednesday. Former sprinter Marvin Emnes, signed from Sparta Rotterdam for£3million last summer, is destined to be added to the list of top-flight speed merchants. Boro defender Chris Riggott explained: ‘He’s obviously quick. I don’t know whether he’s as fast as the likes of Theo Walcott and Gabby Agbonlahor, they really are out of the top drawer, but he’s no mug in that respect. ‘We have paid a few quid for him, so let’s hope he can produce the goods. 'He just looks a little short of confidence at the moment. Perhaps if he shaves all that hair off, he could go a bit quicker’ McCarthy left Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Michael Kightly — his two most influential performers — on the bench.   More. FA CUP fifth round draw: Watford set for Chelsea test, Hull face Sheffield United, Swansea host Fulham and West Ham meet Middlesbrough Wolves v Middlesbrough: How the action unfolded MIDDLESBROUGH FC NEWS ACROSS THE WEB He did bring them on towards the end, though, after Sam Vokes’s towering header midway through the second half had cancelled out Afonso Alves’s high-class finish just before the break. But Stewart Downing sent Emnes clear and his fine finish off the inside of the post spared both teams the trouble of a replay. Wolves skipper Karl Henry asked referee Rob Styles why he had not given a foul before the winning goal, saying: ‘I felt it was harsh. Sylvan had been fouled, I played the ball into Dave Jones and their lad took me out, and the ball. ‘Nine times out of 10, I’d get a foul for that and they’ve gone up the other end and scored. 'It would have been nice to have gone on a Cup run but I don’t think we have done ourselves any disservice today. 'More importantly, we now go on to a massive game for us at Reading. ‘It was a big result that Blackpool beat Birmingham and we are looking forward to the League now.’ WOLVES (4-4-2): Hennessey 6; Edwards 7,Collins 5, Shackell 5, Hill 5; Reid 6, (Kightly 65min, 5), Henry 6, Jones 5, Jarvis 6 (Ebanks-Blake 81); Iwelumo 5 (Keogh 52, 6),Vokes 6. Booked: Jones. MIDDLESBROUGH (4-4-2): Jones 6; Bates 6,Wheater 7, Riggott 7, Taylor 6 (McMahon 7, 6); Johnson 5, O’Neil 8, Shawky 6 (Hoyte 46, 6), Downing 7; Tuncay 6, Alves 6. (Emnes 70, 6). Booked: O’Neil. Man of the match: Gary O’Neil. Referee: Rob Styles.  

Source: Daily_Mail