Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk praised the attitude shown by Patrick Bamford after the striker scored his first league goal of the season against Ipswich Town.
Bamford made his first league start since August against the Tractor Boys, and sealed a much-needed 2-0 victory for Boro following Martin Braithwaite’s first-half opener.
The 24-year-old was withdrawn to a standing ovation in the 81st minute after an excellent display, which Monk later put down to the forward’s hard work in training.
Bamford takes his chance
“I think he typified the performance,” said the Boro boss after the match. “I think his goal was excellent, his move to get there and it was a great finish. It made it comfortable in the game for us.”
“You have to work hard to get into this team and as a manager you have to test players, that’s part of your job.”
“Patrick in the last two or three weeks has really responded and trained very well, he got his opportunity today and took it. That’s what you want from your players so credit to him."
Monk was pleased with the reaction of his whole team after what he admitted was a “tough week.”
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"It's been a tough week"
Boro had slipped six points adrift of the play-offs following back-to-back defeats to Derby and Bristol City, yet they were comfortable in the second-half against Mick McCarthy’s side.
“The main part of today was to show a response, for our fans and for ourselves,” said Monk. “I still think we can be a lot better and there’s a lot more to come.”
“We’ve taken steps forward already this season and then shot ourselves in the foot and taken a few steps backwards, but now we have another opportunity.”
Monk also confessed that there was a temptation to push forward for more goals late on, but he wasn’t prepared to jeopardise the result.
Hard work pays off
“You stand there 2-0 up in the last fifteen, twenty minutes and part of you is thinking go for the jugular,” he said.
“I think quite understandably the players realised at that point the result is comfortable for us, we’ll take the three points and the clean sheet and use it again next week to build some momentum.
“There has been a lot of hard work gone into this, from the start of the season but especially this week to give the fans something to shout about today.”