LIAM Rosenior believes Middlesbrough will be one of the leading contenders for Championship promotion next season if they fall short in the coming weeks.

But Hull City's boss says "nobody can disagree" with his assessment that the Tigers deserved all three points against Boro on Wednesday night.

Rosenior said his side put in a performance "he's dreamt about" against Boro, but the home boss was left frustrated by the manner of Finn Azaz's second half equaliser, a moment that the City boss says "encapsulates Hull's season".

"It's same story, man, it's the same story," said Rosenior.

"99.9% of the stuff we do I'm really proud of, the level of play, intensity, press, technical ability, playing in a style I've always wanted to see in a team, but we just don't take advantage, then we shoot ourselves in the foot.

"Their second goal sums up what we have to learn. We're in their box, we can shoot, we don't shoot. The ball can go in the net or over the bar, we talk and talk and talk about it and within eight seconds the ball is in our net because we don't foul when we should.

"That moment encapsulates our season - in complete control then find a way to not take advantage against what I think is a really good team.

"It's what could end up costing us what I think is so attainable with this group. That's the painful thing, we can see the potential is there but potential means nothing. If we consistently play at that level in the next five games, we'll come really close.

"We have to make sure it swings in our favour and it's our last lesson."


Hull, like Boro, are six point adrift of the play-off places, though the Tigers do have a game in hand on sixth-place Norwich, and Rosenior says his side are "100% still in it".

Carrick maintains his side are still in with a shout as well and Rosenior isn't at all surprised to see Boro in the mix despite their slow start to the season. If Boro do miss out on the top six this season, Rosenior expects them to be right there in the conversation next term.

He said: "They'll be up there, for sure if Michael is there they'll be up there.

 "It's a process, that's having a process, that's having a way and a board that support you and know you're on the right track.

"Michael is an outstanding manager. Tactically in the first 10 minutes he was outstanding, worked against our man to man. Then I had to correct our man to man press, it was a real tactical challenge.

"Both clubs, that performance says a lot about where we're at as football clubs. But I felt today in terms of our performance we should have gone on to win the game.

"They had moments in transition because both teams were trying to win but you saw two really good teams trying to play football in what I think is the right way.

"Credit to Michael but I thought we were the better team today and I think he would say in the first game which we won they were probably the better team."

Boro got off to the perfect start at the MKM Stadium when Emmanuel Latte Lath scored a fourth minute opener, but Hull hit back thanks to a first half double from Jaden Philogene and Jean Michael Seri - before Azaz struck in the second half.

Rosenior said: "Their first goal is clever, what Middlesbrough did, they know we'd press man to man, they isolated Abdus (Omur) really early, the left back was playing as their highest player and gets in.

"Once we adapted our press and changed our press, it was a fantastic performance. I don't think anyone could disagree with that. "We had numerous chances and unbelievable passes of play that I've dreamt of. I've dreamt of watching my team play that way. In the moment they scored, we were in complete control."