Bolton Wanderers suffered yet another bitterly disappointing loss on Tuesday night, this time against promotion chasing Middlesbrough. It wasn't another four goal battering, which does soften the blow slightly, but in other ways this result is even more disheartening as we played quite well in parts but were let down by a stupid piece of defending.
Whilst going from conceding four goals three away games in a row, to only conceding one is obviously an improvement, a big majority of the performance was still horrendous, especially in the first half.
Passing was sloppy, players were consistently making mistakes and there was zero creativity. We seemingly showed Boro far too much respect in the opening forty-five minutes, and they consequently dominated the midfield and created the majority of the chances. We were holding on, however, until a stupid piece of defending allowed Albert Adomah to waltz through unchallenged and cooly slot past Ben Amos to give Boro the lead.
Thankfully, that goal wasn't the opening of the floodgates like it has been recently and we managed to hold them to the one - even though Patrick Bamford helped by missing four or five excellent opportunities.
In the second half we actually played really well and took the game to Middlesbrough, especially after Zach Clough's introduction, after which we created several good chances to get back level but just couldn't take them.
It was an improvement on recent games, and there certainly seemed to be some kind of reaction from the players after the embarrassment on Saturday, but ultimately, it's another loss and we now find our selves sucked back into the boggy mire of a relegation fight.
We have two massive home games coming up and we must take six points from them to propel our selves out of the danger we've put ourselves in. Neil Lennon needs to take a good look at his squad and cut out the players who have just not been performing to their usual standards recently, Neil Danns and Dorian Dervite especially.
Because if this bad run of form continues, we're going to be in serious trouble.