Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray admitted the goalscorer Bart Ogbeche had talked him into his thinking for last night’s clash at West Ham.
Ogbeche’s fine late strike earned a 1-1 draw for Boro at Upon Park and lifted them up into fifth place in the Championship.
“I’m pleased for Bart,” said Mowbray.
“He does that kind of thing every day in training but he’s been coming into my office this week and asking me for more game time.
“Had he not done that would he have got his chance today? It’s very hard to say, but I’m pleased that he did.”
Substitute Ogbeche’s goal inflicted yet more midweek misery on the Hammers.
Abdoulaye Faye’s deflected goal midway through the second half looked to have reignited their promotion bid.
But the east Londoners have not won a league match on a Tuesday night in front of their own fans in more than two years, and Nigerian forward Ogbeche’s superb strike ensured that sorry run continued.
In fact it could have been worse for the under-fire hosts but Lukas Jutkiewicz hit the bar and Ogbeche had a shot cleared off the line at the death.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admits his players currently feel anxious every time they play on their own turf, having been booed off following three straight draws.