Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate explains why he changed formation against Reading
Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate thought his side deserved to claim their second victory of the season after a 1-0 win over Reading at the Riverside.
Marvin Johnson scored the only goal of the game for the Teessiders who had goalkeeper Darren Randolph to thank for some excellent saves late on.
Yet Woodgate believed his side shaded proceedings against the Royals and praised his players for seeing the game out.
“I thought we deserved to win it,” said Woodgate. “I thought towards the end of the game they piled the pressure on but we stood strong.
“Like I said in the week, we needed to find that inner steel, that belief and I thought we did that.
“I thought we deserved to win the game, I thought we looked very dangerous on the counter attack at times and could have been a couple of goals up
“It was well deserved and I was so pleased for the lads, they gave me everything.”
Woodgate changed his formation in the second half when Boro were under the cosh, bringing on Daniel Ayala for Marc Bola to make up a three-man backline.
At the same time, the Royals brought on strikers George Puscas and Lucas Joao as the pushed for an equaliser, yet Boro’s defence stood firm.
“They went to a (back) four so I just wanted to shore it up a bit and put Ayala on,” added Woodgate.
“They put Joao on who is a big threat from set-plays, it was important that I got Dani on and changed it to shore it up.”