Boro boss Tony Mowbray defends Barry Robson

MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray says Barry Robson does not need to apologise for anything after the midfielder's error allowed Sunderland an FA Cup lifeline.

Barry Robson

MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray says Barry Robson does not need to apologise for anything after the midfielder's error allowed Sunderland an FA Cup lifeline.

The two Wear-Tees rivals played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light, although Boro fans will be thinking they should have been celebrating a memorable cup victory were it not for Robson’s error.

The Scotland international had given them a first-half lead with a spectacular strike, but his underhit passback close to the hour was latched upon by James McClean who in turn played in Fraizer Campbell to smash in the equaliser.

Mowbray said: “Barry does not need to apologise. He has thrown his man-of- the-match champagne in the bin.

“He is a very emotional boy is Barry yet he epitomises the spirit required of the group as we move on – particularly in the Championship where you have to fight your corner in every minute of every game.

“Barry leads from the front, his goal especially.

“If you remember he scored a similar one to win it against Hull and he scored a great first-time volley.

“He has great quality as well as the heart the size of a lion.

“As for the discarded champagne, I don’t think he drinks anyway.

“He is just frustrated and disappointed because of the nature of the goal. He is worked extremely hard.”

Mowbray added: “The dressing room is slightly disappointed we did not come through the tie. We showed great spirit despite the nature of Sunderland’s equaliser, which we handed on a plate to them really.

“We could have lost a bit of heart after that but we pushed on and if anything looked as if we were going to maybe get a win.

“It was a good derby game. It started off with the first half an hour a bit attritional you could say. Nobody was going to give an inch.”

The replay is now set for a week on Tuesday and, even though Boro will have home advantage, Mowbray is still considering his side as cup underdogs.

He added: “If you hve seen us at the Riverside this year, we have generally found it easier to get results away from home. Hopefully this will catch the imagination of the town.”

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