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Page last updated at 18:17 GMT, Sunday, 22 August 2010 19:17 UK

Boro boss Strachan blames recession for poor crowds

Boro boss Gordon Strachan
Strachan's side got their first league victory of the season

Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan believes the recession is having a big impact on football attendances.

A crowd of 14,633 saw Boro beat Sheffield United on Sunday - a record low for a league game at the Riverside.

"The recession is hitting now. It's only footballers that seem to have money," he said after the 1-0 win.

"I think in a place like ours where unemployment is huge, you're not going to get people turning up to a game that's on the television."

He added: "I've seen games all over the country this weekend and there have been lots of spaces around the grounds."

The fans that did turn up witnessed a disappointing game between two sides who have struggled in the early stages of the season.

But Strachan took heart from a first league win of the season, courtesy of a Kris Boyd strike just after half-time.

No-one likes to be down there, but it doesn't worry me at the moment

Sheff Utd boss Gary Speed

"I think it was two nervous teams who put themselves in a nervous position by only having one point after two games," added the Scot.

"Both teams wanted to win but looked like they were desperate not to get beat either. They tried their best to make sure the other team didn't win."

"Hopefully, getting the win will have helped us over a psychological barrier.

"We're not doing enough in the middle of the park, but people tend to forget that we have four good midfield players missing at the moment."

Sheffield United manager Gary Speed - an ex-team-mate of Strachan's during their time at Leeds - tasted defeat in his first game as Blades boss.

And Speed admitted he has his work cut out after his side dropped to the foot of the Championship table.


"To come here and limit Boro to one clear chance, which is all they really had, is very encouraging," said Speed, who was promoted from his position of first-team coach following the departure of Kevin Blackwell.

"But the down side of that is that we didn't create too much ourselves. We had a few more chances than they did but didn't create a great deal which is something we'll have to work on.

"No-one likes to be down there, but it doesn't worry me at the moment. One thing I have got is a set of players willing to work hard and their attitude and commitment is such that we won't be down there for long hopefully."

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see also
Middlesbrough 1-0 Sheff Utd
22 Aug 10 |  Championship
Clubs must be patient - McDonald
20 Aug 10 |  Middlesbrough
Speed confirmed as Blades manager
17 Aug 10 |  Sheff Utd
More football clubs 'face ruin'
06 May 10 |  Football

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