‘We are not underdogs, we are right in it and we should be’ believes proud Wilder
The former Sheffield United boss was very clear in his message – his team are right where they belong.
“I am not making bold statements after one game but we are right where we should be,” Wilder said.
“The reaction to a tough night in Sheffield has been first class, with a result at Millwall and two away wins.”
Wilder was very quick to say his team are right where they are for a reason, and his club is up where they belong.
“There is always expectation, I am manager of Middlesbrough Football Club in the Championship, and these players play for a huge club,” he added.
“It is about players embracing it and thriving, enjoying it. This is where you want to be, a big club.
“I’m not going to say we are underdogs, we are right in it and the club should be.”
Wilder very happy with attitude on a “very difficult afternoon”
Wilder was impressed with the way his team went about their business against a team he described as tough to play against.
“They have got some dangerous players and they had a fabulous result last time out, but we were good in both boxes and the bit in between,” Wilder said.
“It was never going to be as straightforward as people made it out to be.”
It was an end to end first period, before the gulf in class became adamant after the interval.
“We controlled the game, but we were never in complete control,” Wilder added.
“Sometimes when you are taking that extra pass around the edge of the box, all of a sudden counter attack, [Jack] Marriott and [Sam] Szmodics and it quite easily could have been 1-1 at half time.
“It got a little bit sloppy in the ten minutes leading up to half time, where we really should have extended our lead but we didn’t and gave them a glimmer.”
Marriott saw a long range effort cleared off the line by Paddy McNair right before Tavernier opened the scoring, and Wilder believes his defence was important to the victory.
“I thought Fry, Dijksteel and McNair were fabulous and for me it has never been about one person, and it won’t be,” Wilder said.
“We have another big game on Wednesday, now.”
Kick in the teeth for deflated McCann
McCann said: “We can’t dwell on today, we need to lick our wounds and go again on Tuesday.
“I felt we had the better of the opportunities in the first half actually, we looked threatening from set pieces and Jack had one cleared off the line.
“But, of course, it is a real worry when you concede that many goals.”
Today brought up 80 conceded for the season for Posh, and find themselves needing to close an eight point gap to Reading in 21st over the final seven games.
“We will never give up until it is mathematically impossible, we just need to take it game by game, but today is obviously a big kick in the teeth,” McCann said.
“We felt this was a game we could get three points in, particularly after the last game.
“But, when you make the mistakes we made today, as a team and as staff, you’re going to lose.
“People were saying we were done when I took over so we just have to keep going.”
Former Northern Ireland midfielder McCann also revealed after the game that club captain, Oliver Norburn, suffered a torn ACL during the international break while playing in a friendly for Grenada in Andorra on a 4G pitch.
He will need reconstructive surgery.