Middlesbrough still in play-off tie despite first-leg defeat, says Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis admitted that Middlesbrough have a big task ahead of them after losing 1-0 in their play-off semi-final first leg to Aston Villa at the Riverside

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis insists his side are still in the tie despite losing 1-0 at home to Aston Villa in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.

Mile Jedinak headed home from a corner after 15 minutes to give Steve Bruce’s side the advantage to take back to Villa Park on Tuesday night, leaving Boro with a mountain to climb.

But Pulis said: “Obviously, we’re disappointed. I thought we did enough not to lose the game today, but it’s small margins. The set-play is a disappointment, we’re disappointed they scored off that.

Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final first leg between Middlesbrough and Aston Villa

“Villa are in the ascendancy in the tie. I can’t hide the fact, going to Villa Park in front of a full-house, it gives them an advantage.

“But there’s still 90 minutes to play and anything can happen in 90 minutes.

“There were times today where Adama had good patches and good spells. He’s a terrific player, he’s got fantastic talent and, on his day, he can do things.

“But we had other players today who played well as well and sometimes that fact is hidden because of Adama’s rise to fame, if anything.”

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