Chris WIlder praises fans as Middlesbrough build bonds as well as momentum at Blackpool

Middlesbrough did more than win a football match at Blackpool, they strengthened the bond between themselves and their supporters with a dramatic 2-1 win., according to manager Chris Wilder.

AUDACIOUS: Andraz Sporar opens the scoring for Middlesbrough
AUDACIOUS: Andraz Sporar opens the scoring for Middlesbrough

His players showed huge character to recover from Shane Lavery's stoppage-time equaliser to score a winner through Duncan Watmore but Wilder also wanted to give credit to the 3,000 raucous away fans, and the players made sure to enjoy their victory in front of them.

"That's what we're trying to create, a connection between the supporters and the players and when you're not at your best we needed them tonight," explained Wilder.

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"How much of that was us, how much of that was the opposition is up for debate but they were right behind us and I'm never embarrassed to enjoy a win.

"To win a game of football in the Championship is hard enough and we have got a target on our back, we understand that. This is a difficult place for a big side to get a result and the the supporters have enjoyed it, they were brilliant right the way through."

Either side of Andraz Sporar's audacious flicked goal, Blackpool hit the woodwork through Gary Madine and Callum Connolly and a Boro side who - like the Tangerines - played on Boxing Day were not at their best but it only made the victory even more satisfying.

"It wasn't how we wanted it to be but as somebody once told me there's no pictures on a golf scorecard and we found a way to get a result," reflected Wilder.

"We were not at our best and it was a difficult game. I always knew this would be a really tough game for us.

"Blackpool were aggressive, played forward, asked questions of us defensively and it's the Championship isn't it? That's what the CHampionship's all about, there's different hurdles to get over. We'd like to have got over it in an easier or a better way but the team showed a lot of different characteristics and qualities to get a big win.

"It was a different manner to how we have been playing but after the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser which was a mistake from our point of view, to go down the other end and get a winner was brilliant for us and the travelling supporters.

"We got pushed back and you've got to give credit to Blackpool for that.

"We had to show a performance full of character and attitude."

Jonny Howson was missing for the visitors but Wilder did not go into way, only saying that he would be assessed ahead of the scheduled New Year's Day game at Wilder's former club and Boro's rivals for a play-off spot Sheffield United.