A FRUSTRATED Neil Warnock admitted Middlesbrough’s final product had been “nowhere near good enough” after Mallik Wilks’ dramatic stoppage-time strike condemned them to a 2-1 defeat at Hull City.

Boro have dropped back to within a point and a place of the Championship’s bottom three after Wilks’ goal in the first minute of stoppage time enabled Hull to claim their first win since New Year’s Day.

Britt Assombalonga’s fourth-minute penalty represented the best possible start for Warnock’s side, but Hull equalized within four minutes of falling behind thanks to a free-kick from Herbie Kane.

Boro went on to dominate the vast majority of the rest of the game, but despite enjoying a surfeit of possession, the visitors struggled to seriously test Hull goalkeeper George Long.

Crosses were overhit, passes went astray and chances proved hard to come by, a scenario that left Warnock bitterly disappointed at the final whistle.

“I’d have been unhappy having come here having got a point, so you can imagine how I feel,” said the Boro boss. “But we’ve only got ourselves to blame.

“With the opportunities that we’ve had, we haven’t been able to put a decent cross in. The number of times the ball has gone behind or we’ve hit the first person, it’s not rocket science really. I must have counted 20 times today that happened.

“I don’t think I’ve seen so many chances go behind the goal – and that’s from good positions, from good players. We didn’t put them under pressure, and that was because of our doing, not theirs.

“You’re not going to score goal unless you get that little bit of quality in there, and we weren’t able to do it. I thought we played alright if I’m honest, but it was just in that final third.

“The decision making was so poor. You had people trying to come inside when there was three men to pass to, or trying to thread a ball through the eye of a needle.”

Having passed up the opportunity to put some daylight between themselves and Hull, Boro find themselves back in the thick of the relegation fight with six games to play.

They are one point clear of Stoke City, although the battle to stay out of League One has been clouded by Wigan Athletic’s move into administration.

Wigan’s administrators have suggested they will fight the Football League’s imposition of a 12-point penalty, which means a degree of uncertainty will exist for the remainder of the season.

Nevertheless, with their fate still in their own hands, Warnock will be urging his players not to spend too much time dwelling on yesterday’s disappointment, with a crucial home game against QPR already looming large on Sunday afternoon.

“There’s six games to go,” he said. “Everybody will be down in the dumps now, but we haven’t got time to be disappointed. I think you’ve always known that this is going to go right to the death.

“With the six games we’ve got, if we can just brush up on a few things in the final third, then we certainly don’t have to fear anybody. We’ve just got to put our own house in order.

“It’s frustrating, but when we get on the bus, we have to put the frustration behind us and start against in the morning. We certainly can’t be feeling sorry for ourselves or stewing on this.”

Djed Spence is already an injury doubt for Sunday’s game, with the full-back having hobbled off at the start of the second half yesterday with a leg problem.

Warnock is also having to manage Patrick Roberts’ workload carefully, with the winger having missed six months of the season with a serious hamstring problem.

“Djed was causing them some problems, but he got a dead leg so we’ll have to see how he is,” said the Boro boss. “He’ll certainly be sore tomorrow. It’s disappointing, but that’s how it is. We thought he was going to destroy them, and it looked like he was, but he couldn’t stay on.

“Patrick wants to carry on, but I just don’t want to risk him. At the moment, with so many games, we have to be careful. Tav (Marcus Tavernier) is looking good in that area, so I think 60 minutes or so with the intensity is enough for him at the moment.”