Derby 0-1 Boro: Main and shine
Published 21:30 15/04/12 By Ian Baker
Boro keeper Jason Steele is so frightened of young striker Curtis Main’s bullet shot he avoids facing him in training!
Main re-ignited Middlesbrough’s play-off bid out of the blue with the winner ten minutes from time and just two after coming on.
It was the ex-Darlington man’s second strike for the Teessiders and just like his first for the club at Millwall was struck with extraordinary power.
And Steele joked: “I tend to try to be on his team at training, because he has two hammer feet!
“I train with Curtis every day, some things that he does are brilliant and that is why the gaffer has involved him. You can see how good he is, how good he can be.
“You have to grab you chances when they come, as a young man you are not going to get opportunities every week to play. I’d say with that finish, he grabbed it.
“Curtis has done that already this season, and he can continue to build because he has the potential to be a top player.”
And boss Tony Mowbray (right)reckoned Main showed a little something extra which was the difference between the sides. He said: “I am delighted for him, we needed a bit of quality, a bit of magic and it was a real clinical finish that won the game.
“We see that from him in training, he rarely mis-strikes a ball, he’s like a golfer in that he makes clean contact and it flashed past the keeper before he’s seen it. We hope he’s got a big future in the game.”
Main’s strike, from Barry Robson’s excellent pass, settled a contest that Boro had the better of with fit-again Faris Haroun pulling the strings in his first game since March 6. It was Middlesbrough’s first win since then and put them back two points from the play-off zone.
Main said: “I don’t know I’m a hero or not, it is only one game. There are a few to go and a lot will be riding on them.
“I was told to just go out, be positive and get shots off and show what I can do. So the first chance that came my way, I got a shot away and showed what I can do.
“I plan on plenty more, with both the right and left foot.”
Mowbray was also delighted with the reaction from his players following defeat last week to Hull.
He said: “I think the players knew the importance of the game after the frustration of Monday when we got our noses in front and then shot ourselves in the foot in a game that could have been over by half-time.
“I think the message today was almost it’s last chance saloon and the big players needed to step forward and drag the rest along and they did just that.
“But we still have a job to do and we are still two points outside the play-offs. We have got two home games coming up and we’ve drawn too many games at home since the new year. We’ve got to sort that out over the next two games if we are going to make the play-offs.”
Derby had their moments but their wasteful finishing cost them with Paul Green missing a sitter in the last minute.
Green is out of contract at the end of the season but dismissed reports he is set to join Neil Warnock at Leeds in the summer.
He said: “To be honest I didn’t even know about Leeds’ interest. You get linked away from clubs if you’re out of contract. As far as I know I’m a Derby player until told otherwise.
“They’ve put something together for me and I’m thinking things over. Hopefully we can get things sorted in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m keen to stay, I’m settled here, it’s a great set of lads and if we can get a couple more in the summer it’ll be good.”