Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has stated his admiration for Wayne Rooney and Derby County following their 4-1 victory over the club.
An own goal from Derby’s Lee Buchanan opened the scoring after just fifteen minutes at the Riverside Stadium. Max Bird brought the visitors level just before the break, however three second half goals from Boro ensured victory for Wilder’s side. But despite the comfortable win, Wilder was quick to praise his opponents in the post-match interview.
“I am not just saying it because we have won, I am saying it because I’ve been in that situation and I know how difficult it is,” Wilder said.
“There are two ways this can go. I have seen so many managers and players take the easy route out, and they [Derby] are certainly not taking the easy route out, they are alive and kicking, and we have had to play well today to get a result.”
The win means Boro are inside the play-off places, whereas Derby sit five points inside the relegation zone.
However, Wilder was adamant that Rooney and his squad will continue to fight until the end of the campaign.
“They got it back to 1-1 and it really evened itself up. We took a couple of big moments just before half time that gave us a big advantage, but they fought to the end.
“They are fighting for the manager and the supporters, and for them to be in contact or in touch is a brilliant achievement and I am sure it is an achievement that is not finished yet.
“They are going to really push at the back end of the season because of the attitude, the leadership of the manager, and the assistant manager, and most importantly the attitude of the group. We have had to play well to get that result.”
Wilder confirms star faces lengthy spell on sidelines
Middlesbrough star Martin Payero is facing a spell away from the pitch following an injury sustained on Wednesday night.
Payero was stretchered off during Boro’s clash with QPR that ended in a 2-2 draw.
There was initial concern the injury could be serious, and recent scans seem to have confirmed those fears.
Wilder said:“It’s disappointing news for Martin. I don’t think that’s going to be a short-term two to four weeks for Martin.
“It’s going to be a little bit longer. He’s going to see a specialist.”