Championship

Middlesbrough’s George Friend: We lacked killer instinct

Middlesbrough left-back George Friend has admitted that his side lacked a “killer instinct” after going down at the hands of Aston Villa in the EFL Championship playoffs last night.

16/05/2018 - 14:00 -

Middlesbrough's George Friend (left) speaks with team-mate Adama Traore

Middlesbrough left-back George Friend has admitted that his side lacked a “killer instinct” after going down at the hands of Aston Villa in the EFL Championship playoffs last night.


Boro played to a goalless draw at Villa Park in the return leg of their semifinal, but it was not enough to recover from a 1-0 loss at the Riverside Stadium in the first game this past weekend.


“We’ve not scored over the two legs, so we can’t expect to go through,” Friend told his club’s official website.


“But we believed we could come here and win, even at 1-0 down.


“We just needed the rub of the green at times. We’ve given it everything – you can’t question anyone’s work rate or desire, but we lacked that killer instinct.


“Credit to Villa, they managed to get through. It’s really disappointing for us.”


While Villa will head to Wembley for the playoff final against Fulham, Boro will already be turning their thoughts to next season.


Friend added, “If you look at the early parts of the season, we probably weren’t good enough. We didn’t really put a run together.


“Credit to the manager – he’s come in and done a wonderful job. I think that’s what gave us the belief.


“We’ve stumbled at this hurdle, but I have to admit we’ve been here before – even all the way to Wembley, losing to Norwich.


“I remember saying then we’ll be back – and the following season we went and got promoted. I have no doubt we’ll start next season with the same positive attitude.”

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