MIDDLESBROUGH manager Chris Wilder has urged his team to always play as a unit and not let individual desires creep into games.

The comments come after Boro threw away what was looking like a comfortable win against Preston North End by conceding two goals in four second half minutes to lose 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium.

The performance was largely comprehensive and they look comfortable throughout. However, the end results means that Wilder has earned just one point out of a possible six.

The Boro boss has admitted he’s thrown a lot of information at the players since being appointed over a fortnight ago and understands the players have taken a lot on board in terms of playing as a team.

From an individual standpoint, while he wants his players to provide a moment of magic and creative spark in games, they need to carry out the game plan and not give the opposition hope of a result when they take the lead.

Speaking on the first half performance against Preston, Wilder said: “It was good. I keep saying it’s something we’ve chucked on these players. They’ve adapted well.

“They enjoyed it and I enjoyed it and hopefully the supporters enjoyed it but that’s the first half.

“At half time, it’s no good producing that. We’ve got to produce that right the way through the second half and if we’d have stuck to the plan, I believe we’d have had a positive result, a good performance and a good night by all but we didn’t.

“If you don’t and if you go off plan and you start doing your own bits, it’s not an individual sport. Go and get a set of golf clubs if you want to do that.

“Even if we had been three or four nil up, it’s still doing the right things, grinding the opposition down, building momentum, pulling them about all over the place like we did for 30 minutes after the initial burst that came from them.

“We had them exactly where we wanted them but we changed script.

“I don’t want you to think that I don’t want them to do anything individual. A stepover or a drop of shoulder and put a through ball like Crooksy’s to Sporar’s first half.

“I don’t want us to be a mechanical side that’s just pragmatic. I want us to express ourselves. I want somebody to come and do something that is a little bit special but it has to be in a team shape and the reason was because we didn’t.

“We’re coming across the pitch and we’re trying to force things through instead of just keep moving them about the pitch. Gaps will open and we have that opportunity to be ruthless and we didn’t move them enough and the chances weren’t created.”

Boro’s season is beginning to get away from them at a rate of knots having thrown away what looked like a certain victory on the cards on Tuesday night. They sit in the bottom half of the table as the team approach the busy festive period.

At the moment, Boro keep dropping valuable points in needless ways. It’s either a case of not being able to kill teams off or not being able to hold onto a valuable lead.

From winning positions, Boro have dropped a total of 16 points this season having let leads slip against Queens Park Rangers, Blackpool, Luton Town and Preston North End.

The extra 16 points would have put them in and around the automatic promotion spots on 40 points. They would have comfortably been in the play-off places.

Wilder has slammed the players conduct in the second half against Preston North End and says he won’t stand for the attitude they showed.

He added: “In quite simplistic term, it’s not acceptable so they carry on doing what they want to do then they won’t play. It’s as simple as that.

“You’re a team player. I’m a team player. I’ve been a team player when I played. There is a balance.

“This club has been renowned for some magicians at the top of the pitch but they are team players and I just thought that we went individual and we played as if we were three or four nil up.

“We weren’t and we can’t go individual. Even if we were three or four nil up. The way they play and the way they approach games is hugely important and we didn’t put them to bed.

“The result (against Preston) was decided by us, not the opposition.”

Next up for Boro is an away trip to promotion chasing Huddersfield Town on Saturday who have lost just one of their last four games in the Championship.