Middlesbrough's all-round display delights Neil Warnock as Sheffield United are beaten 2-0

Neil Warnock says it was hard to pick a man of the match after such a good all-round performance from his Middlesbrough team to beat Sheffield United.

PROUD: Neil Warnock issues instructions to Middlesbrough's Uche Ikpeazu during his side's 2-0 win over Sheffield United

First-half goals from Duncan Watmore and Paddy McNair brought a win which comfounded both side's recent form but was certainly well deserved.

Former Blades manager Warnock got his reward against his boyhood club for sticking with his tried and trusted players, rather than some of the club's recent overseas signings who are still adapting to the Championship.

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"I picked what I thought was the best team," he said matter-of-factly.

"If (left-back Marc) Bola had come off we would have been struggling but Sol (Bamba) eptiomised it.

"Bola's touch for Duncan's goal... and Sol's ball - I said, 'Where's that come from?'

"He was released by Cardiff (in the summer), no one wanted him, he asked for a favour and he did me a favour tonight.

"I thought Dael (Fry) looked superb, Pelts (Lee Peltier) was fabulous. I know Sol got man of the match but I'd have given (Jonny) Howson man of the match, he was so good tonight.

"I just wish Paddy McNair could play two positions at once because he's a great centre-half too.

"The last time he played with Jonny Howson (in central midfield) they got criticised for being too similar but we pushed him on a bit more tonight.

"And I thought the fans were super."

Watmore also performed well after a slow start to the season.

"He's been very poor in training the first few weeks and didn't come anywhere near my team because he didn't warrant it," explained Warnock.

"I told him on Sunday he was playing but I didn't know where because we didn't know if Crooksy was playing."

Matt Crooks did play, but only after his red card in Saturday's game at Reading was overturned.

More than tactics or technique, Warnock felt attitude was the key to his side's win.

"I think the main thing is before they went out I said, what a great night to play so go and enjoy it and I felt like they played like they enjoyed it," he said.

"We worked on Sunday on their threats. They're a good side. Another decisive pass here and there and we might have scored more."