Middlesbrough first team coach Leo Percovich during the Sky Bet Championship match at St. Andrew’s, Birmingham. Picture date: Tuesday March 15, 2022.
05 October 2022

Interim boss Leo Percovich expects to lead Middlesbrough again at the weekend

05 October 2022

Leo Percovich expects to take Middlesbrough to Millwall under his watch this weekend and he wants more of the same after a 1-0 win over Birmingham.

Percovich was placed in interim charge following the sacking of Chris Wilder on Monday and he celebrated with the fans after Boro won for only the third time in the Sky Bet Championship this season.

Assisted by academy staff Craig Liddle, Mark Tinkler and Lee Cattermole, the Uruguayan looked on from the technical area as striker Chuba Akpom struck the winner in the 23rd minute.

All eyes are on who will be in charge for Saturday’s trip to Millwall, with Rob Edwards, Carlos Corberan and Anthony Barry among those strongly linked with the Riverside job.

But Percovich said: “The plan when I was asked was to train the players Monday, prepare the team for Wednesday and Saturday.

“We know we will be ready for Saturday. We want more of the same.

“I am enjoying it, enjoying the togetherness of the club and the people, the staff, the players. We are together, let’s go. That makes you feel calmer, better.

“You always say in football, you aim to win 1-0. We came to get the three points and move up the table. That is the most important.

“Second half was emotional – a lot has happened this week. We know they have the talent and they will be fine, that’s for sure.

“I have been proud to represent them on the pitch. I have almost 10 seasons at this club. I know how they feel, when they look into my eyes I know. They knew I was supporting them. Tonight they have stood up for me and they make me feel proud.”

Birmingham’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end and they slipped down the table as Middlesbrough moved up to 18th.

City boss John Eustace said: “I am disappointed to lose the game. First half we started very well with the ball. Without the ball we didn’t put enough pressure on them – a little too passive. A draw would have been a fair result after a better second half.

“First half we had a good chance with Scott Hogan, half chances in the second half without causing them too many problems. It is a work in progress, but we have been on a good four-game unbeaten run and we have to learn before Saturday.

“We need to be better in the final third, decisions have to be better, get our shots off quicker, get more bodies in the box, get our deliveries better.

“I am not going to be too disappointed today. We didn’t want to lose, the performance second half was OK and there are positives because we had four under 19s on the pitch again.

“There are no excuses. We have to defend and attack together. Overall, throughout the season, we have done that. We will learn from this result and keep working hard.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox