Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan insisted his side had played well despite losing 1-0 to Cardiff, their sixth home league defeat of the season.
A record-low league crowd of 17,232 watched Boro dominate the first half only to leak a sloppy goal after 61 minutes when a Chris Burke free-kick was allowed to bounce through a crowded area and straight in.
Strachan, who now has three defeats and one draw at home with Boro since taking charge, said: "I don't think in the overall play we deserved to get beat. I think they can walk out of here with their heads held high. I don't think we could do that on Tuesday night against Blackpool. If you can do that then it's not so bad. Slink out of the ground when you can't look at anybody in the eye, then you have a problem."
He added: "I thought my two central midfielders were excellent, Mark Yeates got voted man of the match and Adam Johnson was always a threat while we were lively up front.
"I thought they gave it a right good shot. I thought the confidence was fine. The goal... you expect to defend that kind of situation. It was a good delivery but there were still enough people to deal with it."
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