Neil Warnock thinks his injury-ravaged Middlesbrough team did him proud after securing three points against struggling Peterborough.
Despite having a first-team back four sidelined through injury as well as being without the suspended Lee Peltier, Boro edged to three points courtesy of a 2-0 win.
Chances were few and far between at the Riverside but there were a couple of huge penalty decisions that affected the game.
Referee John Busby waved play on when Siriki Dembele went over in the box having beaten Boro goalkeeper Joe Lumley to the ball shortly after half-time.
And Paddy McNair was awarded a spot-kick when he went down in the area under a challenge from Nathan Thompson with six minutes remaining.
McNair sent goalkeeper David Cornell the wrong way to put Middlesbrough on their way.
In stoppage time teenage striker Josh Coburn, who had been introduced from the bench, sealed the win with a tidy finish.
Warnock said: “I couldn’t fault them, every one of them has been super. They all know they are playing out of position, a lot of them anyway, we have nothing else so I asked them to enjoy the battle.
“I told them ‘Don’t dwell on any mistakes, just get on with it and enjoy it’.
“I thought the crowd were quite patient today too. The majority of fans know. Quite simply we could have had another eight or nine points this season with a bit of luck.
“As a manager you can’t do any more. You have to put the team out. If we had got beaten we couldn’t complain about the effort. The squad is decimated, it is difficult. That’s life.
“In the first half we tried to take an extra touch, created some great chances second half across the box. It was a really good performance today, Sol Bamba was outstanding, Duncan Watmore, he got cramp, that doesn’t surprise me either after his work.
“We haven’t been able to work with anything. Thursday night I didn’t have a clue what my team was going to be.”
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson, who was serving a one-match touchline ban, was more frustrated with the fact his side had failed to make an impact in an attacking sense.
Despite seeing plenty of the ball away from home, Peterborough struggled to seriously test Lumley.
But Ferguson was clearly disappointed that Dembele was not awarded the penalty when the game was goalless.
He said: “It was a penalty (Dembele’s). He has got it wrong. Very wrong on that one. It was a blatant penalty.
“The referee is not going to be taking charge of the training session on Monday or our next game. I have to concentrate on what we have done wrong. I have been told it is a definite penalty.
“He has then given them a penalty. But that can’t affect us moving forward and what we are doing is not good enough. I feel we have the players and we have to start showing it. This was a game we could come and win. The fans were getting frustrated here.
“They weren’t carving us open, they weren’t creating loads of chances. I haven’t seen the second penalty decision. That was partly the reason why we conceded the second goal.
“It was there for the taking. The way the game was going we were in control for large parts but the quality wasn’t there in the final third.”
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