Middlesbrough made it back-t0-back home wins in the space of four days last night after they comfortably swept Preston North End aside 2-0 at the Riverside.
Boro were convincing victors against Stoke City on Saturday in a 3-0 drubbing, despite only having nine shots compared to the Potters’ 16, and they had to weather a bit of a PNE storm in the first half on Teesside last night.
Alex Neil’s men had plenty of chances in the first 45 minutes, with Sepp van den Berg hitting the bar and Scott Sinclair having a goal ruled out for offside, but their downfall began on 23 minutes when Jordan Storey sliced Yannick Bolasie’s cross into his own net.
Boro were then fortunate to keep all 11 men on the pitch when Sam Morsy swung an elbow twice at Preston skipper Alan Browne – who was given his marching orders for his kick-out reaction whilst Egyptian midfielder Morsy got away scot-free.
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The home side had the man advantage for the rest of the game though and put the opposition to bed in the second half, as Marcus Tavernier came off the bench to convert early in the second half to make it 2-0.
There is clearly a good team spirit amongst Neil Warnock’s dressing room right now, and some of their players have been reacting to the victory on social media, including attacking trio Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano and the sidelined Marcus Browne.
#UTB we move ✅
— Yannick Bolasie (@YannickBolasie) March 16, 2021
Spread your joy😁 pic.twitter.com/ez7nyN1zV1
— Neeskens Kebano (@Neeskens_Kebano) March 16, 2021
Great win boys on to Saturday now☺️🔴⚪️❤️ UTB!
— Marcus Browne (@MarcusBrowne14) March 16, 2021
The vibe between players at Boro seems to be sky-high right now despite a few dodgy results recently, but back-to-back wins will always help the spirit.
With nine games to go in the Championship season, a play-off place isn’t completely out of reach for Neil Warnock’s side, but it will be a tough ask with the likes of Barnsley in such good form.
But as of now, a five-point gap isn’t insurmountable whatsoever and if Boro can keep everyone fit in the next few weeks, they still have an outside chance of promotion.