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Bleak for Boro

21 February 2009 07:04
Middlesbrough 0-0 WiganSoccer Saturday analysis

Paul Walsh was left fearing the worst for Middlesbrough after a grim goalless draw with Wigan.

Gareth Southgate's side remain rooted in the bottom two and have now just scored one goal in their last nine Premier League games.

And although the point moved them clear of basement boys West Brom, a win for the Baggies on Sunday could see the Teessiders bottom of the table.

But for Walsh, they are already in deep trouble.

"They weren't unlucky and they didn't create hardly anything," he told Soccer Saturday.

"The only chance I can remember is (Stewart) Downing in the first half driving inside and having a shot and Chris Kirkland getting down to his left-hand side to make a good save.

"I can sort of see what he's trying to do, the balance he is trying to get, Gareth Southgate. He's got (Alfonso) Alves up top; Downing has got a kind of free role; he's got hard-working Gary O'Neil down the right-hand side (Didier) Digard in there, Julio Arca, who's a bit more a footballer, and then Adam Johnson on the left who's got a bit more trickery about him.

Isolated"But they just didn't get forward enough into good areas. And when they did, the final ball or the delivery wasn't up to standard.

"And because of that, Alves in the box looks like his confidence is shot. Not only that, with the system they are playing with he's a little isolated as well."

It all meant a drab affair in which decent opportunities were few and far between.

But Steve Bruce's Latics side will be pleased with the away point which keeps them in eighth place. Substitute Hugo Rodallega looked lively and offered a stark contrast to what the home side had to offer.

"For some reason Middlesbrough are just not getting into good areas in the wider positions. Alves is running around trying to get the ball but when they do get it in the final third, there's not enough options.

"You are looking for players to back the box up, pick up the things coming out and then at least two or three coming in trying to get on the end of crosses - especially at home. I think he's got a difficult job on his hands, Gareth Southgate."

"I didn't think Wigan played that great either, but in the end of two teams not playing well, they had the better chances.

"Overall you have to say Wigan had the better chances. It was a game of very few though, a really disappointing spectacle."

Source: SKY_Sports