When Neil Warnock witnessed his players succumb tamely to Blackpool in the EFL Cup, he did not shy away from criticising the level of the performance at Bloomfield Road.
However, his players and the club’s supporters responded in kind, earning Warnock’s praise as Boro posted what felt like an important 2-1 triumph over Bristol City.
While it is still early days in the season, Warnock will be delighted that he got the reaction that he craved with the two goals coming from new signings Uche Ikpeazu and Matt Crooks.
Having spoken openly about his squad’s lack of strength in depth, it would come as no surprise if Boro make a number of loan additions before the end of the transfer window.
Nevertheless, there is optimism in the North-East that Warnock has already made some shrewd additions as they bid to remain in close proximity to the playoffs in the long term.
The same can be said of their next opponents, who showcased their undoubted potential in cruising past Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
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Mark Warburton’s team are regarded as the dark horses for promotion this year and there is every reason to believe that the Hoops will be in contention come the end of the season.
Even in the absence of Charlie Austin, QPR looked a class above their hosts, their three strikes coming from Chris Willock, Lyndon Dykes and Rob Dickie.
Willock looks to have found his home after a move to Benfica earlier in his career failed to pay off, and Warburton will have confidence that the playmaker can live up to the promise that he initially teased during the youth ranks at Arsenal