Middlesbrough, Chris Wilder singles out 3 Middlesbrough players for praise after win over Birmingham

Chris Wilder singles out 3 Middlesbrough players for praise after win over Birmingham

Middlesbrough got their first away win since December last night as they won 2-0 against Birmingham City at St. Andrews.

Middlesbrough put in a solid showing for their travelling supporters, and comfortably dictated the game throughout the full 90 minutes and were good value for the win on the night.

The two goals came from Premier League loanees, with Brighton and Hove Albion’s Aaron Connolly grabbing the opener, before Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun added a spectacular second.

Paddy McNair also missed a penalty early in the second half but it didn’t prove to be costly for Chris Wilder’s side.

The win takes Boro back into the play-off places into sixth. Although they could drop back down to eighth if Sheffield United and Luton win their games in hand this evening.

Middlesbrough, Chris Wilder singles out 3 Middlesbrough players for praise after win over Birmingham

Speaking after the game to Teesside Live, Middlesbrough boss Wilder spoke highly of three players in particular, singling them out for praise after their performances against the Blues, starting with the two goalscorers.

“For both of the young lads up top, it’s their first loans and I thought it was a great performance from both. I was delighted they both scored.

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“Connolly was aggressive up against a big competitor in Marc Roberts who is a physical, powerful boy. I thought his movement was good running down the side, and the combination between the two of them as a ten and a nine was good.

“He didn’t get bullied; he didn’t get dominated which was good as well.”

He then went on to discuss the performance of defender Anfernee Dijksteel, who impressed in the game. He provided a solid defensive display but also grabbed the assist for Connolly’s opener.

Middlesbrough, Chris Wilder singles out 3 Middlesbrough players for praise after win over Birmingham

“He’s been out through illness and Lee [Peltier] came in and played well at Millwall. But Anf is a young player that is learning as well. I was delighted with his performance.

“For young Anf to deal with [the Birmingham strikers] in the way that he did was great. You look at their team sheet and their bench, it’s an experienced group of players and they weren’t just going to roll over tonight, but we were up for the battle.”

Middlesbrough’s attention now turns to their important FA Cup quarter-final at home to Chelsea on Saturday evening. Having already knocked out Manchester United and Tottenham, Wilder’s side will fancy their chances of another scalp and another cup upset.

Birmingham also have a game to contend with on the same day, as they travel to Swansea City in the Championship.

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