Derby win rounds off a great week for Middlesbrough – Chris Wilder

Middlesbrough v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Riverside Stadium
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder felt their comprehensive 4-1 win over Derby capped off a great week for the football club.

Boro moved into the Championship play-off places at the end of a nine-day spell in which they knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup and drew at promotion rivals QPR.

Isaiah Jones produced three first-half assists at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday as a Lee Buchanan own goal and strikes from Aaron Connolly and Matt Crooks put Boro in charge at the break despite Max Bird’s 39th-minute equaliser.

And Duncan Watmore added a fourth late on to leave Derby stranded four points from safety after a week in which the troubled club reached an agreement with Boro over a legal claim.

Middlesbrough boss Wilder said: “We got a bit sloppy and a bit loose after we went up in the game in terms of possession.

“They had a certain amount of possession as well but we settled down once we got our noses back in front and it was a great boost to go in at half-time 3-1 up.

“We kept moving it and yet again Jonah (Jones) has found himself in a great position. We’ve managed to finish that off.

“As what happens, they open up and change they shape. They have to take big chances and it opens it up for us as well.

“Our shape behind the ball was really good. I thought the work rate of the players, especially the front two. I thought they’d gas themselves out after about 60 or 70 minutes and Azza (Connolly) and Flo (Folarin Balogun) kept going because they got that game under their belt. Delighted with them two.

“When they gave it away, our press was good. We created opportunities. I’m not getting too carried away, it’s a good result on the back of a great week for the football club.

“Now we rest, recover and go again next week which is obviously the key.”

Derby manager Wayne Rooney felt the scoreline was a little unfair on his players.

“I thought it was quite an even game first half,” he said.

“I felt we had bits of control of it and we got the equaliser, and we were OK, and then we concede two sloppy goals, we need to look at.

“I take responsibility for the result because I tried something with Tom Lawrence and Luke Plange, to leave them high up the pitch and try and play a little bit on the counter attack, and that didn’t pay off. I take full responsibility for that.

“It is a disappointing result. Middlesbrough are a good team but I didn’t feel there was that much between the two teams.”

Boro’s Crooks received a yellow card in the first half for a heavy challenge.

Rooney added: “My initial thought was it was a red card. I don’t like to see anyone getting red cards.

“The referee is a top referee and maybe he has missed it. That’s football.”

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