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JJ TAKES HIS CHANCE

Posted on 9 January 2006  - 12:00

A smile crossed the features of Jermaine Jenas as he reflected over the free-kick that went wrong which gave him the opportunity to net his third goal of the season.

A smile crossed the features of Jermaine Jenas as he reflected over the free-kick that went wrong which gave him the opportunity to net his third goal of the season.

Middlesbrough were leading 2-1 at the Riverside on Sunday when we were awarded a free-kick to the right of the Boro penalty area. After much deliberation and a lengthy delay the ball was rolled to Edgar Davids - who was promptly chopped down in a more central position.

Enter JJ. The midfielder - who scored a spectacular free-kick against Manchester United at Old Trafford - said he immediately fancied his chances of a repeat and took the chance to curl the ball around Mark Schwarzer in the Boro goal to level the score.

"We were talking about it saying if that hadn't happened I wouldn't have got my chance," he revealed. "It was one of those things where we tried something, it obviously didn't work and we were lucky enough to get another one.

"I just thought to myself 'I'm having it' - it was close enough and I wanted it. I just grabbed the ball and decided I was going to hit it.

If I keep practicing and score a few then no-one can really argue

"It was great for me personally but the most important thing is what we did as a team. It is not an easy place to go and get any kind of result, Middlesbrough put a lot of pressure on us and it is good for us to come away with a point."

Jermaine added that the mood in the dressing room afterwards was a positive one following the collecting of a point at a venue where we have not taken any reward since March 2002.

"We're very happy, I know Jermain went through at the end and could have won it for us, but they had a few chances as well and Robbo was exceptional for us.

"The work ethic was good among all the players, you saw the forwards tracking back, midfielders closing down, defenders winning headers - all round the work was being done."