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Juande upbeat

Juande Ramos refused to be too downcast after the 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.

Juande Ramos refused to be too downcast after the 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.

The opening goal grew increasingly vital as the game progressed at the Riverside and Middlesbrough struck first via David Wheater in the 71st minute.

That gave the home side momentum and ex-Spur Mido doubled their lead with 10 minutes left. Robert Huth's own goal in added time proved just a consolation.

"Our hopes and aspirations are still very much intact," insisted Head Coach Juande afterwards. "We have lost the first game but there is still a long way to go.

"We are on the right lines. I think generally we're playing very well, our style of play is going well and we just have to hope that we keep improving as the season goes on."

Asked about our four debutants - Heurelho Gomes, Giovani, Luka Modric and David Bentley - Juande added: "As a group, the new signings are on the same level as the rest of the team, they are working hard to become part of the set-up and gelling nicely with the rest of the squad."