Goalscorer Dean Bowditch said that Tuesday night’s draw with Middlesbrough ‘felt worse than a loss’ after his side came agonisingly close to taking all three points.
Bowditch looked to have won the game with his early strike, but Boro striker Jordan Rhodes had other ideas as he salvaged a point for his side deep into injury time.
“It felt worse than a loss; everyone’s heads were down after the game and the gaffer told us we’ve got to get our heads up,” said Bowditch. “We were playing against the team at the top of the league and did fantastically well for 93 minutes.
“We’re disappointed but we have to take a hell of a lot of positives out of that game because I thought we did fantastically well for large parts.
“It was different from the way we usually play, but we did a great job and we were unfortunate that they nicked a goal at the end.”
Bowditch reflected boss Karl Robnson’s disappointment at the result, having led the game for so long, and admitted that he had started to believe that a shock was on the cards.
“Before the game you want to win every game, and I think in that game tonight our gameplan was spot on,” said Bowditch. “When it got to 60, 70 minutes, you suddenly start to think that you can win this game, against the side who are top of the league.
“It felt like a reality at one point until Jordan Rhodes popped up. But that’s what you get when you have a £9m striker floating around in the box.”
Bowditch conceded that he was given a helping hand by Boro keeper Dimi Konstantopolous as he put his side ahead inside 10 minutes, but he was delighted to get on the scoresheet nonetheless.
He continued: “It was chocolate wrists from the keeper and I think he’ll hold his hands up and say he made a mistake, but I think he was slightly unsighted by the defender.
“It took about five minutes to cross the line and I was blowing it in, but it was great to see it go in because we haven’t had that luck in recent games.”