JONATHAN WOODGATE has called for VAR to be introduced in the Championship after claiming his Middlesbrough side were robbed of two clear goals in their 1-0 home defeat to Brentford.

Ollie Watkins’ second-half strike settled things at the Riverside, but Woodgate was left raging at the officials’ decision to rule out two first-half efforts from his side.

Ashley Fletcher was penalised for handball after a quick corner from Marvin Johnson ended with the ball in the net, but Woodgate is adamant the final touch came off Brentford defender Julian Janvier, and replays suggest Fletcher was clearly onside 14 minutes later as he raced on to Daniel Ayala’s through ball and lofted a shot over David Raya.

Video technology has been introduced into the Premier League this season, but it is still not in use in the Football League, something Woodgate thinks is a unjustifiable anomaly given the financial clout of the Championship.

The Middlesbrough head coach said: “It was two mistakes from the linesman in my view. Ashley Fletcher was two yards onside, and I mean two yards. I can’t understand how you can’t see that. Then after that, he gives a handball, and it wasn’t.

“My view is that VAR is in the Premier League, so why isn't it in the Championship? Why? Is the Premier League more special than the Championship? Not in my eyes.

“This is a league we want to get out of, but big decisions don't go your way, so I’m not happy about it. On the plus side though, I thought my players were absolutely outstanding. Especially in the first half.

“Okay, in the second half, especially in the first ten minutes of the second half, we need to tighten up a little bit. But me being a Middlesbrough fan, I’d have been proud of my team.”

Having dominated the first half, with Britt Assombalonga hitting the post as well as Fletcher having his two efforts disallowed, Boro were caught cold at the start of the second half.

Darren Randolph produced a fine save to deny Mathias Jensen, but Watkins settled things as he converted Sergi Canos’ low cross from close range.

Woodgate will assess why his players failed to fire after the interval, but does not want the end result to overshadow their efforts from the opening period.

He said: “I’m not sure why that (the slow start to the second half) happened. I’ll look back on it. They started the fresher of the two teams, and they capitalised.

“In this league, you need to capitalise. If you don't, they'll get passages of play and they could end up scoring. But I'm very proud of my players.

“There are a few sloppy areas in starting positions which I’m not happy about and decision making, which I'm not happy about. But we'll move on.

“I said to the players, ‘It's a long season, don't get disheartened about it’. We need to stay with what we're doing. Our beliefs are this, and you can see they're with me and they believe in what I’m doing.”