Steve Bruce reacts to opening day draw at Middlesbrough

Bruce post-Boro 22/23

Steve Bruce says he was pleased with the determination his side showed to get back into Saturday’s clash with Middlesbrough after the restart.

The Baggies were 1-0 down at half-time following Isaiah Jones’ early strike at the Riverside Stadium, with Boro wasting a couple of promising opportunities to extend their lead.

However, Bruce’s men delivered a much-improved second-half showing and equalised through debutant John Swift.

Albion could’ve gone on to win the encounter, and the boss praised the way his players fought back to claim a point on the opening day.

He said: “The second half was certainly more like it. I thought we were a bit passive in everything we did in the opening 45.

“I thought we actually made a bright start but then they went and scored.

“If I’m brutally honest, our response after the goal simply wasn’t good enough.

“In the second half it was much more like it and it turned into a really good game. It was end-to-end and if I’m being biased here, I thought we maybe edged it.

“We probably had the better opportunities in the second half.

“I was pleased with the character they showed after the break. I said to the players that the club has had a bad couple of years with relegation from the Premier League and then last season not going as well as we all would’ve wanted it to.

“I told them it’s a mentality thing we have to try and address. 

“The new boys who have arrived will certainly help us this season, but we have to change our mentality to make sure we are the big boys of the division this year.

“We have an outstanding chance if we do that.

“It’s always difficult to change, but that has to be the aim.

“We’ve brought Jed Wallace and John Swift to the club for the reason which they showed today. Goals.

“I was pleased to see them both involved in our equaliser.

“When we can get Okay Yokuslu in our team too, we’ll be even stronger.”

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