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Monday, 25 May 2015, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship Play-Offs Final

Venus: Boro showed character

Middlesbrough caretaker boss Mark Venus voiced his relief after his players salvaged a 2-2 draw against Watford at the Riverside thanks to a last-gasp equaliser.

Last Updated: 09/11/13 at 19:53 Post Comment

Mark Venus: Relieved after late goal salvaged a draw

Mark Venus: Relieved after late goal salvaged a draw

However, Venus was disappointed at gifting Watford a second-half goal with a defensive blunder that forced Boro into a furious scrap to retrieve a point.

Boro lead through a well-worked first-half Albert Adomah opener but Watford punished sluggish defending as Troy Deeney levelled before the break.

Fernando Forestieri then took advantage to score Watford's second when Daniel Ayala failed to clear, but Boro's on-loan Spanish defender made amends with a headed equaliser three minutes into stoppage time.

"The lads showed real character and spirit to keep going and get that equalising goal right at the end," said Venus.

"We started off well and went a goal up and we deserved that, it was a great goal. But the second half was a bit scrappy and it was going nowhere, then there was a costly defensive mistake that let them back into it.

"We've talked about making mistakes before because whatever league you play in, whatever team you play for, if you make mistakes you get punished.

"But I was delighted for Daniel. He made the mistake but he made up for it when he got that goal. That shows strength of character and determination."

Quizzed about the vacant Boro hot-seat, Venus insisted he did not know when owner Steve Gibson was likely to make a decision

"Listen, I don't know anything about the state of play with that," he said. "Really, I don't know.

"There is a two-week break coming up and that may well be a time for the club to make their decision. As far as I'm concerned I'm in the job until someone tells me otherwise and I'll keep doing it to the best of my ability."

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola believes his side should have killed Boro off when they were a goal to the good.

"It was disappointing that we did not win the game from that position," said the Italian.

"I felt we did not make the most of a couple of very good opportunities to finish it off. We made the wrong decisions when we had those chances. We shot when we should have passed and passed when we should have shot.

"But even though we did not take those chances I was surprised not to win the game because I couldn't see Middlesbrough scoring another goal at that stage.

"We held the ball well all the time and were creating chances. I was disappointed that we let them back into the game, especially so late and especially from a set-piece."

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