Middlesbrough’s grip on a play-off place loosened on Wednesday night as Tony Pulis’ side slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Preston North End at the Riverside Stadium.
Boro took a first half lead through Ashley Fletcher, but the sending off of Spanish centre-back Daniel Ayala after the break saw the momentum of the match swing in the Lilywhites’ favour. Pulis was not able to manage the situation, and North End applied continual pressure until they got the goals they needed to snatch a win.
The defeat marked Middlsbrough’s second loss in a row, with them previously having squandered a lead against Brentford in similar circumstances.
Boro’s present inability to defend leads is worrying, especially as the club are verging on falling out of the play-off places. Pulis must find a way to arrest this slide, but some fans are losing patience with the coach.
Following the loss to Preston, plenty of Boro fans took to Twitter to express their frustrations with the manager…
I’m being honest here Paul, but somehow Tony Pulis has managed to drain all enthusiasm from myself (and others) concerning the club. I don’t know how he does it but West Brom fans said it would happen, I’ve no interest now in press releases or statements at all.
— Craig (@ourjudd) 14 March 2019
Players’ not happy Tony – if they were, they’d be banging goals in for fun . You’ve suffocated the fans spirit , ruined the home atmosphere ( it wasn’t great ) and proved that Stoke and WBA fans were right all along – Leave now
— Patrick Varley (@pbvarley) 13 March 2019
— stuart pearson (@peo__73) 13 March 2019
Jokanovic is available. Just saying. #PULISOUT
— Rich Cane (@rich_cane) 13 March 2019
Please end this pain my eyes cannot take this any longer
— Nathan (@MFCNathan_) 13 March 2019
Broken record, he’s as dull as his football tactics #pulisout
— Kenna (@kenna32) 14 March 2019
Walk away tony.
— MFC1986_hummel (@MFC1986_hummel) 13 March 2019
#tonypulis you just don’t know how to win, dont blame the sending off, that was a clear red card. All season long your tactics have been defensive, @LUFC @SUFC_tweets @NorwichCityFC all play pressing football and are good to watch score goals for fun. @Boro so poor.
— BURNETTO (@burnettimate) 14 March 2019