x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Barry Robson targets home improvement for Middlesbrough

A 1-1 draw with Sunderland leaves the Scotland midfielder disappointed, but he believes his side have it to beat the Premier League side in the FA Cup return fixture.

Barry Robson, the Middlesbrough goalscorer, has warned Sunderland they have every confidence of winning the replay at home after holding on for a draw at the Stadium of Light in the fourth round of the FA Cup yesterday.

Robson scored a left-footed volley to give Boro a first-half lead, but they had to settle for a replay after the Scotland midfielder gave away possession and allowed Fraizer Campbell to fire home an equaliser after the break.

"That was a bit of slackness from myself and I'm disappointed," Robson told ITV. "It was a simple little task, but it happens, top footballers do it so we'll move on."

And Robson was adamant Boro would back themselves at home.

"I think there are a few players in our team who have played at a higher level. We know what to expect, we're used to it. Credit to them, but we look forward to the next game and we think we can beat them playing at home."

Campbell was making his first senior appearance since August 2010 because of injuries.

"Personally, I was delighted to be back out there," he said. "We started sloppy, and let them dictate to us, but we dug deep. Cup games are like that, especially a local derby which adds that little bit more spice, but I think we deserved the draw and we move on to the next game."

Tony Mowbray, the Boro boss, said he was dealing with a "disappointed" dressing room after the match. "In the second half a few things fell for us, and a clinical finish or ricochet could have got us the goal," he said.

"In the first half-hour, it was a bit attritional like a derby game can be, but we got the goal on the break, and maybe should have had a second on half-time. But great credit to the players as in the second half they got stronger."

Sunderland had a goal ruled out before the break, apparently for a mistaken offside decision, although two wrongs perhaps made a right as Craig Gardner had handled the ball before firing home.

Martin O'Neill, the Sunderland manager, said: "We started off slowly in the game, which was surprising considering it was a cup game, and an important match for us.

"When they got in front, and they deserved to, we thought we had an equaliser but it was chalked off.

"But in the second half we got a bit of tempo in the game. Fraizer Campbell got us a big goal, gave us a big lift and then we thought we might be able to get it, but it would have been hard luck on Middlesbrough and we both live to fight another day."

* Press Association