Middlesbrough have been cut to 11/4 in bwin’s Championship relegation odds after their poor run continued with a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham on Friday night.
The Teessiders were a distant second best as Fran Villalba and substitute Odi Bailey deservedly ended City’s three-match losing run.
Daniel Ayala equalised for Boro with three minutes to go, only for Bailey to win it – and anything other than a Birmingham win would have been unfair as they dominated the contest.
Middlesbrough have now taken just one point from their last four games and have managed only two wins all season.
Rookie manager Jonathan Woodgate said: “I wish I could put my boots on and play, and head a few balls out or tell my full-backs to stop crosses.
“The players need to roll their sleeves up and have a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.
“I’ll be the first to do that. To perform like that, especially first half, was not good.
“You can imagine exactly what I said to them at half-time and full-time. Have I raised my voice to them? They need to be told it’s not good enough.
“They need to do the dirty things better – stopping crosses and winning headers because in this league, you’ve got to battle. But Birmingham were a lot better than us.”
Joy at last for Jones
Stoke finally secured their first win of the season at the weekend and have been eased to 9/4 in the Championship relegation betting as a result.
Manager Nathan Jones looked certain to be sacked after Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Huddersfield but the Welshman remained in charge for Saturday’s trip to leaders Swansea.
The faith of the Potters board was rewarded when substitute Scott Hogan netted a 90th-minute winner in a 2-1 victory despite having gone behind inside the first minute.
“It’s just one step,” said Jones. “For six or seven of the previous 10 games we have made big errors. We have had a foothold in games and then had a red card. Things like that have gone against us.
“You can’t keep saying that over a 46-game season but our results were baffling. By all logic they shouldn’t have been happening, so hopefully this can be a turning point.”
Huddersfield followed up their win at Stoke with an impressive 3-0 victory at home to Hull – their first win on a Saturday since April 2018.
The Terriers were the only team in the Championship to follow up a midweek win with a weekend victory and are now 7/4 to be relegated.
They have climbed out of the relegation zone and been replaced by Reading, who are 11/4 for the drop after a 1-0 defeat at Bristol City continued their poor run.
Join bwin today and receive up to £10 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager at odds of 1/1 (2.0) or greater is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.