John Obi Mikel netted his first goal for his English Championship side – Middlesbrough in their 2-1 away win over Rotherham United, on the final day of the league but their victory could not save them from missing the play-off.
Being his first goal for the team since joining early this year, Mikel’s goal in the 37th minute, gave Middlesbrough a 2-0 lead in the first half after Britt Assombalonga had put Middlesbrough ahead in the 28th minute in through a penalty.
But Boro’s clean sheet in the encounter was halted by Rottemdam’s Michael Smith via a penalty in the 86th minute.
Despite netting his maiden goal for the Tony Pulis side, Mikel picked up a yellow card in the 90th minute.
It was a bittersweet end to the season for the Nigerian midfielder as his goal was not enough to keep Boro’s Play-Off dream alive.
Speaking after the encounter, Mikel said: “We knew to come into the game it wasn’t in our hands. We had a job to do and that was to win the game, and see what happens. The other results didn’t go our way but it will be a goal to remember for me. The fans have been fantastic with me and I think we deserve to be in the Play-Offs. But it’s a big club and I’m sure Boro will bounce back next year.”
Also, a disappointed Coach Pulis said: “We played well first half. Again, I thought we missed a lot of chances to make it more than two. Second half we dropped off a little bit.”
“The crowd were going up and then down and I think that affected the game a little bit, and affected us maybe. We’re desperately disappointed – to win five out of your last six games and not get in is a disappointment. They’ve shown good courage and commitment over that period,” Pulis added.
Boro lost the Play-Off spot to Derby coached by former Chelsea captain, Frank Lampard as the Coach Pulis side had 73 points from 46 matches, while Derby had 74 points from the same number of matches to make the playoff spot.