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Wayne Rooney demands Birmingham to ‘be better’ after debut loss at the helm

Wayne Rooney attributes Birmingham City’s downfall at Middlesbrough in his first game as the club’s manager to a ‘lack of care’ in the final third.

In his debut as Birmingham’s manager, Rooney‘s team suffered a 1-0 defeat, replacing John Eustace earlier this month. Morgan Rodgers scored the winning goal in the last minute as Rooney’s side lost to a Boro team managed by his former Manchester United and England teammate, Michael Carrick. Following the match at the Riverside, the former D.C. United boss shared his thoughts on the loss.

We need to be better. We need to improve and be better with the ball. Defensively we did OK, Middlesbrough cause you problems, we know that, they are a good team,” he told reporters.

“With the ball, in possession, we need to be better. We need to be more comfortable taking the ball while marked and being more creative by doing that. I thought Middlesbrough had good periods in the game when they got through, and then we got a bit of a foothold on it.

Rooney bemoans of lack of concentration in Birmingham’s loss

“There was a lack of care and concentration in the final third. It’s going to take a bit of time. We know that. We are trying to get players into really good positions, but the main thing for us is being more comfortable in taking the ball.

“The goal we conceded, we were in Middlesbrough’s final third and a long clearance… it was a really sloppy goal from our point of view. It’s always hard to take when you concede late.”

Rooney was appointed after Eustace’s dismissal, with Birmingham sitting in sixth place in the Championship.

The Blues, who have since slipped to seventh, were seeking a manager capable of establishing an identity and implementing a bold “no fear” playing style. While it is too early to determine whether this will be the case under the former England international, the new manager’s tenure did not get off to an ideal start.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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