Westley’s reaction from FA Cup defeat plus photo gallery
Boro boss points to defensive mistakes after going out of fourth round on Saturday
GRAHAM WESTLEY admits his side weren’t at their best during Saturday’s FA Cup defeat against Reading.
His players seemed to lack the same tenacity as they had in the last round against Newcastle and the Boro boss feels a couple of them didn’t play to their full potential on the day.
However, he insists there are plenty of positives to take from the two matches and is now looking forward to getting back to league action.
“We deserved to get back in the game and we were unfortunate in the end to lose a sloppy second goal and one that we certainly could have avoided,” said Westley.
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“Quite how Long managed to emerge unmarked at the far post I don’t know and our boys are disappointed with it as you’d expect from a side that’s got a very good defensive record.
“I look back at it and think 5-4 on aggregate over 300 minutes against top eight sides from League 1, the Championship and the Premier League. I think the lads will realise that a couple of mistakes and a disappointing first half have cost us but over the 300 minutes they’ve produced some fantastic football and shown the potential they’ve got.
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“There was a 15-20 minute spell where the boys really got the crowd up and the crowd got the boys up and there was a real momentum and to be frank once we got the equaliser you could only see one winner.
“Sincs (Rob Sinclair) nearly got a second goal at the far post and they were hanging on for dear life but then we seemed to lose our way a little. Darius went off and we stopped keeping the ball up top and they got a little bit of late momentum and managed to nick the late winner.”
There continues to be much debate regarding referee Anthony Taylor’s failure to award Boro a penalty when Sinclair appeared to be tripped in the box two minutes before Charles’ leveller.
Brian McDermott was also incensed in the first half when Hal Robson Kanu fell inside the box but Westley clearly felt otherwise.
He added: “I huffed with Brian (McDermott) and Nigel Gibbs when they appealed for it. I didn’t think theirs was at all and I think their response back to me said everything. But you look at the defender’s (Ingimarsson) reaction where he sticks the leg out – he pulls it in I accept that – but there was definite contact with Sincs and the defender’s eyes as he looks at the referee tell you everything you need to know.
“It’s back to priority now. Our priority is always to produce in the league as it’s in the league when you really get tested. We’ve been a good cup side in the last couple of years where we’ve been to Wembley twice and had a good FA Cup run this year but it’s the league where you’re really tested week-in week-out.