JONATHAN WOODGATE was determined not to get too downhearted after watching his Middlesbrough team lose for the third time in a row – by suggesting it was a “typical Championship game” at Ewood Park.

Blackburn Rovers, managed by Boro old boy Tony Mowbray, claimed three points courtesy of another former Riverside player Danny Graham when he sent Darren Randolph the wrong way in the 25th minute.

Middlesbrough didn’t show enough after that to level things up, even though Marcus Browne did hit the post late on when he was introduced as a substitute.

And that leaves Woodgate heading into Tuesday’s home date with Wigan hoping for a first win, having seen Middlesbrough lose the last two leagues games with a defeat to Crewe in the Carabao Cup sandwiched in between.

Woodgate, whose side drew the opening game of the season at Luton, said: “I thought it was a poor game from both teams, I thought a draw would have been a fair result, I don't think any team particularly dominated.

“Football's fine margins, we hit the post late on and they get the penalty so it was one of those games but we need to grind it out and get that result.

“It was a typical Championship game, you can't always play well but we move on and go again on Tuesday.”

Anfernee Dijksteel, a £2m buy from Charlton making his first league start, was guilty of a blatant tug on Danny Graham that led to the penalty which the striker converted.

And Woodgate said: “I think it was a penalty, I could see it was from where I was, I'm not going to say I didn't think it was. I will be honest, I thought it was a penalty and the referee got it right, we need to be better in those situations.”

The Middlesbrough boss also revealed that full-back Hayden Coulson was missing because of a thigh problem that could prevent him playing for a couple of weeks.

George Friend also had to make way in the second half with a knock, after playing his first league game of the season.

Former Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray is hoping Woodgate and his No 2 Robbie Keane get it righta at the Riverside.

Mowbray said: “Jon is someone I’ve got a lot of affinity with. I signed him for Middlesbrough many years ago, and I signed Robbie Keane for Celtic as well. They’re good lads.

“He wants to play good football, and it’s really important to establish a way of playing and have principles for your team. But you have to find a way to win. 

“I actually said that to Woody today - not specifically about him, but just when we were talking about football generally. 

“Every manager has to find a way to win or you won’t be a manager for very long. That’s the harsh reality of life, but I think Jonathan will put that group into a system than works. And Middlesbrough will be fine, I’m sure."

Graham's winner proved the difference to seal three points for Mowbray’s Blackburn. It contributed to a nightmare first start for Middlesbrough summer recruit Dijksteel, who was guilty of conceding the penalty when he needlessly tugged Graham’s shirt in the area in front of referee Jarred Gillett.

It was not all about Dijksteel, though, because Middlesbrough rarely looked like claiming a point on an afternoon when chances were few and far between, particularly for the visitors.

The nearest they came to levelling was when substitute Marcus Browne volleyed against the far post from Paddy McNair’s cross a few minutes after emerging from the bench.

Woodgate must now look to home dates against Wigan and Millwall at the Riverside in the hope of getting off the mark.

Blackburn came close to adding a second a couple of times, when Stewart Downing curled inches wide from distance and Joe Rothwell forced a point blank save out of Randolph.

BLACKBURN (4-2-3-1): Walton; Bennett, Williams, Lenihan, Cunningham; Travis, Johnson; Downing (Rothwell 76), Dack (Buckley 76), Gallagher; Graham (Armstrong 69). Subs (not used): Leutwiler (gk), Nyambe, Bell, Evans.

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1): Randolph; Dijksteel (Tavernier 61), Ayala, Shotton, Friend (Walker 82); Wing, McNair; Johnson (Browne 69), Howson, Fletcher; Assombalonga. Subs: Pears (gk), Bola, Clayton, Saville