Bristol City v Middlesbrough FC: Celebrating Clarets provide 'team talk' for Boro

ADDRESSING the media by the side of the pitch at the Riverside Stadium after Good Friday's game against Burnley, Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson did not even need to speak to find inspiration.

It was provided by raucous background noise from celebrating Clarets supporters, who were toasting promotion back to the Premier League as the Boro midfielder spoke to journalists.

A 2-1 loss to the Lancastrians inflicted a maiden home league defeat on Boro under Michael Carrick and a first Championship reverse at the Riverside since mid-October.

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It also saw Boro lose successive league matches for the first time under the 41-year-old, with the joyous scenes among Burnley followers providing a galvanising team talk in its own way for the Teessiders who are aiming to accompany the Clarets to the top-flight.

Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson.Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson.
Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson.

Admitting that Boro are grateful for a quick turnaround ahead of today's game at Ashton Gate, Howson commented: "That's what you want.

"Whenever you have disappointment - whether it's a bad result or performance or whatever - you want the next game to come as quickly as possible and luckily, we have got that on Monday.

"We have been very good up to now.

"You look at where we have come from - this, that and the other, but we don't want it to count for nothing.

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"We have got to give it a right go and believe in what we have done and if we put performances in like the majority of Friday, then we will give ourselves a chance."

Despite seeing his side suffer a first home defeat in 11 league matches under his watch at the Riverside, Carrick was keen to accentuate the positives following a night when Boro were certainly good value for a point amid exalted company.

They face a Robins side who are yet to sample a league defeat on home soil in 2023, with their last defeat arriving on Boxing Day.

Carrick added: "Every game is a new one, but we can take positives from Friday and take confidence and look forward to Monday.

"It's not an easy game by any stretch in this league, but we can be positive and look forward to the end of the season."