Neil Warnock’s warning to promotion rivals Cardiff, Bournemouth and Barnsley after convincing Stoke City win
Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock still believes his side have an outside chance of finishing in the play-offs following a convincing 3-0 win over Stoke City at the Riverside.
Goals from Grant Hall, Paddy McNair and substitute Nathanial Mendez-Laing gave the Teessiders all three points to keep their faint promotion hopes alive.
Boro remain eight points off six-place Barnsley with ten games to go but Warnock hopes his side can now build momentum.
The hosts changed their shape midway through the first half, switching from a back three to a back four with Paddy McNair moving forward into midfield.
Warnock also praised goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli who made two important saves in the second half to keep his side ahead.
“We had to win today,” said the Boro boss after the game. “I said to the players we have to try and get wins on the board now really.
“I thought once we sorted the first ten minutes out where we were getting battered really, we had to change it completely. Once we did that I thought we were on our game.
“I thought we dominated certain areas and broke ever so quickly, even in the second half I thought we broke at pace and could have scored a few more.
“Bettinelli as well he made two important saves and it might have been a bit nerve-wracking if they had gone in. Everybody contributed today and it’s lovely when you see a set-piece come off, off the training ground."
When asked about Boro’s position in the table, Warnock added: “We have to try and win every game now, we are quite capable of winning every game but we are quite capable of losing it with the inconsistencies.
“I thought there were some massive pluses today and we looked strong when we changed shape.
“We gave Paddy a bit more freedom moving him away from the back and he finished really well.
"Then Mendez, I couldn’t have asked any better really. He’s really working his socks off in every minute of the day and even on his day off he’s in working hard.”