John Swift scored on debut to help West Brom produce one of the close football scores of the weekend in the Championship. Isiah Jones opened the scoring in the 10th minute before Swift equalized in the 51st minute. Middlesbrough missed out on a playoff spot last season by five points while West Brom was one of the contenders before fading away towards the end of the season.
Middlesbrough’s Chris Wilder: “I thought we were great. I’m delighted with the players. All they need to be bothered about is me and the coaching staff’s opinion. It was a helter-skelter game. I think Steve said afterward that he really enjoyed it – I’m not so sure. I thought it had everything, but what I will say is that we should be out of sight in the first half, which wouldn’t have allowed West Brom to get back into the game. They’ve got good players and they did get back into the game, so overall, on an opening day, if you can’t win, you don’t get beaten. We’ve got a result.”
West Brom’s Steve Bruce: “We started off OK but didn’t really recover after the goal if I’m being honest. The second half was much, much better and it could have gone either way, couldn’t it? I’m going to be greedy and say maybe I would tip it our way, but I thought was a very decent game with both teams trying to win it. It’s never going to be easy to come in here for the first game of the season, so we’ve taken something and it’s something to work on.”
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