Southgate: We must keep our nerve
Published : 18 Oct 2009 11:14:12
Tom Cleverley gave visitors Watford a first-half lead and the Hornets then dug in for the win as Boro squandered a string of good chances. Boro have now lost three in a row at home and were booed off after a disappointing display. "There is a pressure in playing at home but we must deal with it," said Southgate. "How we perform at home between now and the end of the season will determine where we finish. "Away we are scoring in every game and there is an expectation and confidence in the team we will do well. We start home games like that too but as soon as we go a goal behind that feeling goes and we start to make the wrong decisions all across the pitch. "We do not help each other and that is what we must change. "But whether there is pressure from the crowd or not we must deal with it. We have to step up to the mark. "We know the crowd have expectations. The crowd have come to see us win at home and that is three games on the bounce we have not scored and we've been poor. "We haven't performed well enough, we haven't done our jobs and right across the pitch we failed to win our individual battles. We have another tough home game on Tuesday and no matter how they feel about playing at home the players must perform." Watford boss Malky Mackay praised his side for their determined rearguard action. "I was delighted with the way we manufactured the goal," he said. "They combined well and forced the issue and I thought it was a fantastic goal. "But we defended well after that and worked well as a team for the full 95 minutes and that was very pleasing. "We had a coolness of head about us, we were resilient and we showed courage to get the ball down. We stuck to playing good football when under pressure." Watford took the lead on 27 minutes as they took advantage of some sloppy Boro defending. Sean St Ledger had time to hoof clear on the edge of the box but played a weak ball and Don Cowie collected before playing a neat one-two with Henri Lansbury to get into the danger area. His pass was then slotted behind the defence for Tom Cleverley to burst through unmarked and rifle a low 12-yard drive into the net. Boro should have levelled two minutes before the break as Mark Yeates put a low cross in from the left and Jeremie Aliadiere and Leroy Lita both failed to make contact.