Post-Match: Phillips on Bolton's Defeat to Middlesbrough

  • April 16, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/407af

Jimmy Phillips thought Bolton were unfortunate in defeat to Middlesbrough and admits his players need to believe in themselves in order to succeed.

Despite taking a 61st-minute lead courtesy of Josh Vela, Wanderers fell to a sixth successive defeat after a brace from Jordan Rhodes completed a turnaround that handed Boro all three points in their quest for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Speaking after the game, Phillips expressed delight at a much-improved display from last Saturday's defeat at Derby County, but has urged his players to show more belief against the division's top sides.

"I thought the players certainly gave it a go today," Phillips told BBC Radio Manchester. "There was plenty of fight in them.

"Middlesbrough, towards the end of the game, were putting a lot of balls in our box and we were getting our heads on it and getting blocks in there.

"When the one hit the post I thought that was it, hopefully we would get a draw out of the game, but it wasn't to be.

"We set the players up to be harder to play against, but at the same time trying to get Mark Davies and Zach Clough into the game whenever the ball went up to Emile Heskey.

"I thought Emile gave us everything he could - he couldn't run any longer - and him not being able to play up front probably swung the game a bit in Middlesbrough's favour. We struggled to get out.

"I felt it wasn't until about 30 minutes into the game that we had the belief that if we got the ball down, we could actually be creative against Middlesbrough, which we'd encouraged the players to do from the outset."

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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