Chris Wilder blames Middlesbrough FC's bad set-piece organisation for 2-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town

Chris Wilder felt MIddlesbrough's lack of defensive organisation at a Huddersfield Town set piece was their undoing as his side lost at the Riverside for a third game running.

They drew 0-0 at Bournemouth in their only away game in the sequence and their results - not necessarily their form, the manager stressed - is endangering their play-off chances.

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The first 40 minutes had been even until former Boro striker Jordan Rhodes headed a Sorba Thomas free-kick across goal and Naby Sarr headed in.

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CRITICISM: Chris Wilder was unhappy at the way Middlesbrough defended the set piece which led to Huddersfield Town's openerCRITICISM: Chris Wilder was unhappy at the way Middlesbrough defended the set piece which led to Huddersfield Town's opener
CRITICISM: Chris Wilder was unhappy at the way Middlesbrough defended the set piece which led to Huddersfield Town's opener

"Huddersfield are a really good side and consistent and deserving of the position they're in," said Wilder. "I think we all knew how the game was going to get set up from the off.

"For the first half an hour we were comfortable.

"The first goal is incredibly important in games like this and they get it through our bad organisation at a set-play.

"Huddersfield will say it's a decent ball in, it was a decent header and they're very strong on set plays. We obviously notified that players which they decided not to take any notice of. They score at a set piece and it gets a little bit ragged for five minutes just before half-time but I thought we were in a comfortable place for 30, 35 minutes without finding that little bit of quality.

"And you need to get that first goal."

Once Middlesbrough were behind, Huddersfield could hit them on the counter-attack.

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Luke Daniels saved a one-v-one with Josh Koroma at the start of the second half, but could not repeat the trick when Rhodes went through on the hour.

"It's going to be a struggle for me to hide my emotions because I'm not a very good actor. We're deeply disappointed because we really fancied it today.

"I thought we set it up with a good performance on Friday and for the first half-hour I was delighted.

"They came to counter-attack and sit in, which is not an issue.

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"We got so close on so many occasions and we were comfortable. But the game doesn't get decided in the first 35 minutes or on what happens between both boxes.

"They defended their goal fantastically well, we didn't risk enough, we didn't take enough opportunities, we didn't find the quality, we didn't cross it enough or take our opportunities to shoot enough when we got into good positions, we didn't manage to pick anybody out for get into the right areas and they sat in and countered on us and the second goal was a real killer for us."WIlder was keen to put the run of one point from a possible 12 into perspective.

"You've got to give credit to the teams that have won the games - Fulham did a job on us and got a result, Hull with their one opportunity scored and got a result so you have to look at yourself and say we've not defended well enough.

"The bit in between I think has been okay. Loss of form, not really, lack of concentration and discipline defensively yeah and lack of quality in the last bit yeah, because when you stick the stats together of all the games we've played you can't get into those positions, you can't have the number of penalty area entries and the number of passes, the amount of possession we've had and not score.

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"Is it a mentality that they tighten up in those positions or a lack of quality? Maybe something inbetween.

"We've got to do so much better than we've done over the last four games, the timing of our lack of results more than a lack of form (is bad).

"I don't think we're getting dominated by any team but the fine margins and the ultimate decisive moments in both boxes, the opposition are finding them and we're not."

Adding to the disappointment of the day, Wilder once more ducked the question of whether he was interested in the vacant Burnley manager's job, which he is one of the bookmaker's favourites for.