Middlesbrough 3 QPR 2: Garry Monk hails battling Boro

Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk: Unbeaten run has moved his side up the table.
Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk: Unbeaten run has moved his side up the table.
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Garry Monk has paid tribute to his Middlesbrough players for emerging from a tough week unbeaten and ending it on a winning note.

Boro climbed to within a point and a position of the play-off places by coming from behind twice to defeat QPR 3-2 at the Riverside.

Get in: David Meyler celebrates his late qualising goal.
Picture: Tony Johnson.

Get in: David Meyler celebrates his late qualising goal. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Middlesbrough fell behind early in each half courtesy of goals from David Wheeler and Jamie Mackie but levelled things through Lewis Baker in the 36th minute and Ashley Fletcher in the 56th.

Then Britt Assombalonga dived in to head his fifth goal since moving from Nottingham Forest on the hour to claim an important three points.

The victory followed a hard-earned point at Aston Villa on Tuesday, when Boro were reduced to 10 men, and the previous weekend’s 3-0 triumph at Bolton.

Monk said: “We gifted them the first goal and made it difficult for us. We didn’t affect the game how we wanted to. We were disappointed at half-time, and second half we changed a couple of things.

“That put us on the front foot but we made another mistake from an avoidable goal. Credit to the players to face those situations. In account of all that, we have had a hard week. There is always a debate in my mind, that freshness, physical side of it... should you change things? It’s an important trait to win when you are not at your best.”

QPR would have claimed a point had Pawel Wszolek found the net instead of the post late on.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Christie, Fry, Gibson, Da Silva, Leadbitter (Howson 56), Clayton (Fletcher 46), Baker, Downing (Forshaw 78), Assombalonga, Johnson. Unused substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Friend, Shotton, Bamford.

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Furlong, Baptiste, Robinson, Bidwell, Luongo, Freeman, Manning, Wheeler (Sylla 68), Smith (Mackie 46), LuaLua (Wszolek 46). Unused substitutes: Borysiuk, Ngbakoto, Lumley, Samuel.

Referee: D Bond (Lancashire).