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Middlesbrough Fans Verdict: More Home Frustrations For Loyal Royals

The fans were left ruing another awful home performance as Neil Warnock Middlesbrough ran out 2-1 winners.

After an impressive three-game unbeaten run, it was normal Madejski Stadium services resumed as Bowen’s men put in another more than lacklustre home display. The returning captain Liam Moore put us in the lead after 32 minutes, but it was a familiar story from there on out as we failed to capitalise on a decent start - and heads dropped when we conceded on the stroke of half-time.

The Royals failed again to really test the opposition keeper for the entire second half, and Patrick Roberts made them pay when he slotted a cut-back past Rafael, slumping Reading to another home defeat - meaning we’ve now won one of our last 13 home league games, which is just an abysmal record.

The fans certainly showed their frustration after the game on Twitter, some blaming the players, some blaming Bowen’s defensive style of play - which, let’s face it, has been a topic of discussion for quite a while now. It was probably a mixture of both to be honest. Swift, Olise, Meite and Puscas all looked well off the pace - but, it’s hard to create much when your centre backs bypass your midfield only for Puscas or Baldock to be the lone striker.

Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from Tuesday nights game...

Awful home form

One win in 13 home games just isn’t good enough. If the league was based just off home games this season, we’d be in the bottom three.

I know it’s different since the return of football as home advantage really isn't a thing anymore with the fact there are no fans in any stadium. However, that's not an excuse, you still need to try and make your ground a fortress.

Bowen spoke heavily when he joined about making the Mad Stad a tough place to come and play, and how he didn’t want teams to be coming thinking they're going to have a nice game of football - the question is, has he achieved that?

Here’s what the fans had to say about our wretched home form on Twitter after the game...

Attacking woes

Without Ovie Ejaria and Lucas Joao - with the system that Bowen plays - we just look so lost and void of ideas going forward, particularly the Portuguese striker.

Again, we failed to build on a solid start and taking the lead. It’s just not good enough and it keeps on happening. Is it the players thinking they’re on the beach already? Is it Bowen lacking the managerial knowhow to make tactical changes that will change a game? I’m really not sure, but constantly swapping Puscas for Baldock - or vice versa - on the hour mark but continuing to play the same way is absolutely baffling.

The fans were definitely left frustrated at the lack of creativity and quality on show going forward...

Players’ mentality

Again, we looked like a team that didn’t want to be there on Tuesday night.

So often through the season we’ve had a few decent results and then when the going gets tough, there is no one there to grab hold of the team and get them going again - there's no Danny Williams, no Jem Karacan, no Graeme Murty, no leader.

But you look at the players out on the pitch and there isn’t anyone there who can get near those kinds of leadership qualities. Morrison is probably the closest we’ve got to one of them, and i can imagine he and others probably do try and rile the team up when something goes wrong, but the players just don't seem to react to it. That’s a serious mentality problem.

All we ever ask as fans is for players to show passion and leave everything out on the pitch, so we get pretty annoyed when we don't think that is happening...

Conclusion

So, as you can tell, it was another very bad day at the office.

Bowen promised when he came to the club that we would become a hard team to play against, hard-working no matter what situation - why hasn't that happened?

I know we are in a very strange position of no fans being allowed into the stadiums during the coronavirus pandemic, but come on. That can't be made to be an excuse, no Middlesbrough fans were there either but they managed to run more than us, tackle harder than us and try harder than us. It needs sorting out really.

URZ