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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 12:46 UK

Captain Gary O'Neil defends Middlesbrough performance

Gary O'Neil
O'Neil has made 107 appearances since his switch to Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough captain Gary O'Neil has defended his side's performance after letting slip a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Portsmouth on Saturday.

Goals from Matthew Bates and Barry Robson put Boro in control but second-half strikes from David Nugent and Liam Lawrence earned Pompey a point.

"We just need to find that formula where we win when we play like that," O'Neil told BBC Tees.

"The way we played is good enough to win games in this division."

O'Neil added: "We've got a great set of lads, everyone's desperate to succeed. We're gutted, we've had a tough week."

The former England under-21 midfielder, who was playing his second game in four days on his comeback from a knee injury, managed 77 minutes before he was withdrawn for striker Leroy Lita.

"My knee was fine, but lack of games and match practice meant I got a bit of cramp in both hamstrings and I didn't want to risk tearing anything," O'Neil added.

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see also
Middlesbrough 2-2 Portsmouth
02 Oct 10 |  Championship
Boro trying to improve - Strachan
29 Sep 10 |  Middlesbrough
O'Neil hopeful of Boro comeback
08 Sep 10 |  Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough extend O'Neil deal
22 Dec 09 |  Middlesbrough
Boro capture O'Neil from Pompey
31 Aug 07 |  Middlesbrough

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