Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager Neil Thompson praised his team after they beat Middlesbrough 2-1 less than 24 hours after Tony Pulis was sacked.
Pulis left the club on Monday night after just 45 days in charge but the Owls managed to secure a second win in three Championship games thanks to first-half goals from Callum Paterson and Liam Shaw.
Thompson had little time to prepare for his new role but was delighted with the response of Wednesday’s players.
Thompson said: “I spoke to the chairman last night and he told me to prepare the team for today.
“You learn to expect the unexpected. Football never surprises me and you always have to be ready for anything.
“To come away against a good team with a result is really encouraging. We just wanted to be positive and the lads did as we asked.
“In the first half we caused a lot of problems. In the second half, we were on the back foot. We put bodies on the line though and we managed to hang on.
“We’ve done the best we can and came away with three points. I’ve had a really good reaction from the team and I’m delighted.
“The fighting spirit has never been the question. They’re a good group who work their socks off.
“It was my first time managing in 18 years. You’ve just got to trust in what you do.”
Wednesday took the lead in the 30th minute when Liam Palmer set up Paterson and Shaw tapped in a second 10 minutes later – his first senior Wednesday goal.
Duncan Watmore pulled one back for Middlesbrough in the 49th minute when he latched on to a Sam Morsy pass but the visitors were unable to find a way back into the game.
Boro manager Neil Warnock said: “We’re disappointed. The pitch was diabolical so everyone had to knock it long and it means you can’t get much pattern into it.
“I can’t blame the players for that. You just have to adapt to the conditions better.
“It’s not very often we make defensive mistakes like that and I don’t need to name names. They know who they are.
“We picked today’s team before Tony (Pulis) had gone.
“In the circumstances, I thought we tried to play the ball well and be patient. We had the chances but we just couldn’t take them.
“It’s fine margins and I think they’ll be delighted to get three points while two silly mistakes cost us.
“We said at half-time we’ve got to take the game to them because we’re better than them and that’s what we did.
“I thought we gave it a go second half and I don’t think we played particularly bad first half. I thought it was an open game.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.