Middlesbrough’s hopes of reaching mid-table were scuppered by an injury time defeat at Doncaster last night.
Despite taking the lead through Scott McDonald in the 4th minute a shot from Brian Stock deep in injury time squirmed past Boro ‘keeper Jason Steele into the net.
That sort of pattern sounds similar to last season’s Celtic where within a month winning positions were thrown away against Dundee United and Hearts to hammer any hopes of challenging Rangers in the SPL.
Last night’s win lifted Doncaster nine points ahead of Middlesbrough in a division where it seems that every match is a six-pointer.
“The dressing room is bitterly disappointed after a game where I thought there was only one team going to win it,” Mowbray explained. “We had one or two really clear-cut chances to win it late on but it’s a cruel game.
“We started fantastically well, we got the goal and could have been two up early on but we stepped off the gas a little bit.
“We dominated and got in good areas, the strikers looked bright and alert and we scored a goal but it doesn’t really matter at the end, we’ve got no points. We felt we should have won and had enough opportunities to have done that, but we didn’t.
“It’s this team’s lot at the moment, It’s an old cliché but when you’re down at the bottom nothing goes your way.
“We were pushing on trying to win the game and we got hit by a sucker punch at the end. The boys are saying the goal was deflected and Jason couldn’t get a strong enough hand to it.”
Those quotes have a very familiar ring to it with only the knock-out ‘take it on the chin and move on’ missing from last season’s Celtic post mortems.
With 9 defeats out of 11 away from home the pre-season promotion favourites are going to have their work cut out to survive the drop unless there is a major turn around in their fortunes.
After two big spending transfer windows under Gordon Strachan funds will be limited for Mowbray to work with in January.
Despite reports that Kris Boyd is available to leave the club it’s hard to imagine any club paying money for the former Rangers striker who was available on a Bosman during the summer.
If Mowbray needs to bring in some money the sale of McDonald looks more likely with the former Celt having a decent record of 10 goals in 33 appearances for a struggling club.
One player who could be returning to ‘Boro is striker Jeremie Aliadiere who took part in a midweek reserve match.
Aliadiere, who spent a month on loan at Celtic in 2005, was freed at the end of last season by Gordon Strachan but has been recovering from injury at ‘Boro’s Rockliffe Park training centre.
“I asked him if he wanted to play in a reserve game and he said he felt he was ready to do that,” Mowbray explained. “Although he didn’t make a huge impact in the game, he did find it useful.
“We’re not talking about contracts with him, we’re just helping him with his rehabilitation.
“Somewhere down the line I’ll sit down and talk to him about what his thoughts are but he might have other ideas about where his future lies.”