We were too tired says Robson

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The Independent Online
Bryan Robson, Middlesbrough's manager, sounded a defiant rallying call for Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea after his team's relegation yesterday.

"The players are all very quiet in the dressing room but we can't do anything about being relegated now," he said. "I've told the lads that they've got to start preparing themselves tonight for the Cup final. It won't make up for relegation if we win it, but it will be a great way to finish the season."

Robson, who said he had no plans to resign "unless the chairman tells me different", refused to be drawn on the futures of his big-name signings. "I've got to speak to all my first-team players and get their thoughts on the situation at the club," he said. "But that won't happen until after the FA Cup final. When that's over we will take stock and I'll do what's best for Middlesbrough"

An angry looking Emerson walked straight down the tunnel when he was substituted but Robson explained: " Emmo was just showing his disappointment at us being relegated."

Robson added: "I couldn't ask for more from the lads over the last week but they've had four games in nine days and it caught up with them today. They looked jaded. They couldn't provide the final passes or the finish when they were in good situations."

The absence of Fabrizio Ravanelli, who failed a late fitness test on his wrenched back, was also crucial. "We needed our leading scorer," Robson said.