The visitors opened the scoring inside 13 minutes, but the Whites did enjoy chances themselves before Assombalonga doubled his tally and Johnson put the result to bed.
And speaking following the final whistle, manager Phil Parkinson covered these points...
On a difficult day at the office…
I thought we started okay, but then the first goal was obviously a set-back. Physically, we had three or four opportunities to take the ball off him, yet he still managed to get a cross in.
It’s just the physicality of this level – whereas a tackle which might have come away with the ball in League One, it doesn’t at this level and it’s a harsh lesson for us.
I thought after the goal and up to half time, our response to conceding was a lot better than it was against Derby and Leeds.
We kept our structure and kept going. Before the goal, the keeper made a good save from Gary too and then in the second half, Darbs has come off with a hamstring strain, but we started that period well.
We were having a decent spell, but one moment of looseness and the ball is in the back of the net. The second goal was a real killer for us.
On the quality shown by an ex-Premier League team in Middlesbrough…
You can certainly see the gulf in the spending power – they’ve spent £30 million on strikers alone which will always give you that extra quality and the ability to punish teams.
We are getting punished at the minute and we know we’ve got to do better. We’re in a mini-league in this division and that starts on Tuesday which we’ve now got to prepare for.
We’ll be doing everything we can to get ourselves up and running.
On having David Wheater back from injury…
Wheats did well and it was good to get him out there against his old club. He’s jarred his knee a bit so we’ll assess that tomorrow.
It’s important that we assess our players in terms of their freshness ahead of the Sheffield United game and pick a team that we believe can go and get a result on Tuesday.
On Craig Noone’s debut and Antonee Robinson’s first league appearance…
They both did well. Andy Taylor’s calf tightened up on Thursday so Antonee came in and it was a big ask of him in terms of being up against that quality of player.
He never, ever gave up though and he showed great character.
Craig Noone meanwhile, he hasn’t played much football and we were only going to give him 60 minutes, but because of the injuries to Derik and Darby, we kept him on.
I have to say that he showed real quality and it was a good debut for him in terms of keeping going, his energy levels and some of the crosses he put in.
On Gary Madine’s performance…
Gaz had two or three decent chances to score – the shot the keeper saved was a decent save and those moments are big in football.
And on a quick return to league action against Sheffield United on Tuesday night…
They’ve had a good win today, so we’ll take a good look at them. We need to reflect on this game though tomorrow – the most important thing is to pick the right team for Tuesday.
Sheffield United’s team is similar to that which they had last year, so we need to do our homework to make sure that we pick up the points.
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Last edited by karlypants on Sun Sep 10 2017, 21:54; edited 1 time in total