MIDDLESBROUGH manager Chris Wilder has explained Duncan Watmore’s second half substitution and Joe Lumley’s omission from the matchday squad.

The Boro boss withdrew forward Watmore in the early stages of the second half of their 2-1 loss to Preston North End while Lumley wasn’t involved in the matchday squad.

Watmore has started both games under Chris Wilder and has produced impressive energetic performances but was substituted in the 53rd minute of the game as a precaution.

“He’s not trained since the game so that was touch and go” the 54-year-old said.

“He passed a late fitness test this afternoon. So did Andy (Andraz Sporar).

“He looked as if he was just a little bit off the pace as well Duncan.”

After his withdrawl, Boro went on to lose last night’s outing at the Riverside but Wilder admits that wasn’t part of the reason they lost.

He added: “That’s not cost us the game, it’s the attitude behind it that’s cost us the game.

“At times I thought we played really well. I enjoyed watching it. I thought we were dominant and I thought we moved the ball. Overloaded and got into some great areas.

“18 shots again and we’re sat here with one point out of six and the goalkeeper hasn’t had a save to make. Certainly there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of talking to be done and a lot of analysing to be done because one out of six, regardless of whether I’m brought here for the long term or the medium term, I’m a short term manager as well and I want to win games of football and do it the right way.

“We’ve got one point out of six which is hugely disappointing.”

As for Joe Lumley, the Boro boss revealed that the keeper twisted his ankle during the warm-up of the weekend’s draw against Millwall on Saturday. Dejan Stojanovic took his place on the substitutes bench.