Garry Monk has praised his players for their performance following their victory over struggling Sheffield Wednesday.
Boro came from behind to earn a much needed three points in what was a big game for two out-of-form teams.
Ross Wallace put the home side in front in the first half, before a crazy few minutes saw Wednesday keeper Joe Wildsmith go from hero to zero – saving a Grant Leadbitter spot kick before pushing Jonny Howson’s long-range strike into the net.
Ryan Shotton then became Boro’s unlikely hero seven minutes from time, glancing a header past the aforementioned Wildsmith to complete the comeback.
I’m proud of the players,” Monk told Boro’s website. “We had two disallowed goals that were onside, a missed penalty, missed chances and you do start to think on the side of ‘is it going to be your day?'”
Monk and his team have faced criticism in recent weeks, but the Boro boss believes they have answered a lot of the questions raised amid a difficult spell.
“We’ve had a lot of questions and doubts thrown our way – some of them quite rightly and some maybe a little bit unfair,” he said.”I think today went a long way towards some of those questions being answered in terms of our character and who we are.
“Yes there are more to be answered going forward but I thought we thoroughly deserved that win.
“We were the better team on the pitch. They’re a good side and we knew we had to defend well – we did that much better this week. Offensively, we created numerous chances and should’ve done better with them.
“To come back from a goal down shows that character and belief from the players and I’m very pleased for them.”
Monk admits Boro should have been more ruthless in front of goal, but was focusing largely on the positives which gave the supporters an early Christmas gift.
“We should’ve won it quite comfortably, but I can’t be critical.” he said. “I thought the game had everything: character, belief, desire, quality, good chances, good defending – everything that we wanted to show.
“Massive credit to the players and the fans as well, travelling as they do to support us. We understand their frustrations, we want to give them more days like this.
“We have to build on it and try to put a winning run together, we know we’re capable of it – no we just have to do it.”