It was a bad night at the office for Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
They fell to their second home defeat in a row, failing to hang on to a lead as Preston North End ran out 2-1 winners in their Championship clash at the Riverside Stadium.
Tony Pulis's charges took the lead just after the half hour mark when Ashley Fletcher rifled an effort home via a Jordan Storey deflection after after Mo Besic's run and pass had played the striker in.
However, the second half brought controversy as Keith Stroud sent off defender Daniel Ayala just after the hour for his challenge on Brandon Barker, a decision which seemed to enrage the Boro contingent.
Preston, who are now unbeaten in 11 games, levelled from the resulting free kick when Paul Gallagher's effort found the net, and with just eight minutes remaining, substitute Jayden Stockley headed home a winner.
Boro remain in the Championship's playoff places in fifth but seventh-placed Bristol City are just two points behind, and following the game, a number of the Teesside outfit's fans took to Twitter to express their feelings.
One particular theme was the future of Tony Pulis, with former Boro manager Aitor Karanka being urged to consider returning to the Riverside:
It’s alright lads I get it no need for Radio 1 to book catfish now cus we are the true bottlemen— The Fresh Prince (@_TY_97) March 13, 2019
Bring Karanka in until the end of the season what a story that could be look what happened when he came back after charlton— Mike Smith (@MIkemfcsmith) March 13, 2019
Two home games, winning both, leave with zero points, villa away Saturday. Club needs a clear out from top to bottom. But nothing will change and we will accept mediocre. Neve felt this distant or isolate from the club, past caring.— Gavin Jackson (@gavsyjackson) March 13, 2019
CLUB STATEMENT- TONY PULIS FFS ANNOUNCE IT NOW— Connor (@ConnoReney) March 13, 2019
I said it at the time that the club made a huge mistake in getting rid of Karanka— 786 (@UTBoro_) March 14, 2019
@Karanka would you ever come back and manage Middlesbrough? How we could do with you— DAH (@DAH2020) March 14, 2019
@Karanka bring leo with you aswell. The passion has gone and we need it more than ever at the moment. The riverside feels toxic— Adam Martin (@adamski80mfc) March 14, 2019
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