TONY Mowbray praised his comeback kings after Tarmo Kink’s last-gasp winner gave Middlesbrough a scrappy victory over Coventry.
The Estonian came off the bench to score a late winner for the third time this season after Julio Arca cancelled out Lukas Jutkiewicz’s opener.
Mowbray said: “We know that is what Tarmo can do because we’ve seen it before.
“And that’s why you have players like that on the bench – because they can change things and make the difference.
“It wasn’t the greatest game, but he has got the winner and we’ll take it.
“I’m delighted that the team have come from behind again. I think that is eight times this season now and that is a great ability for a team.
“We are starting to develop that winning mentality all teams need. That shows character and desire and those qualities will stand us in good stead next season.”
The game was a far cry from the rampant display in the 4-2 win at Hull on Saturday and Mowbray admitted his side looked tired at times.
“We lacked intensity,” said Mowbray, who was minus the KC Stadium hat-trick hero Scott McDonald with a hamstring problem.
Despite the sides having little to play for, the encounter was played at a high tempo throughout with plenty of attacking intent on display.
That endeavour reaped reward as early as the 10th minute when the Sky Blues took the lead through Jutkiewicz’s eighth goal of the season.
But Boro have started to provide more threat under Mowbray in recent times and it was evident soon after as Arca levelled.
That seemed set to be the final goal of an enthralling encounter before Kink’s late heroics earned Mowbray’s men all three points.
It came as no surprise when Coventry took an early lead through Paul Smith.
Clive Platt was the orchestrator, cleverly working his way into the area before chipping over an on-rushing Paul Smith to leave Jutkiewicz with the easiest of finishes.
Boro got the reward their endeavour deserved in the 25th minute as Arca equalised with his second goal in as many games.
Lita deserved much of the credit, though, after sliding a clever ball to the Argentine, who unleashed an excellent 20-yard strike past Keiren Westwood.
The end-to-end nature of the game was continuing as, first, Boro skipper Robson forced a fine save from Westwood before David Bell saw an effort sail just wide for Coventry.
And, just when the game seemed to be petering out into a draw, the home side claimed all three points as Kink curled an excellent left-foot effort past Westwood.
Middlesbrough: Smith, Hoyte, Rhys Williams, Davies (Gibson 41), Taylor, Robson, Smallwood (Flood 78), Thomson (Kink 65), Arca, Lita, Emnes. Subs Not Used: Steele, Haas, Halliday, Reach.
Coventry: Westwood, Keogh, Clarke, Cranie, O’Halloran (Wood 71), Gunnarsson (McIndoe 85), Clingan, Bell, Baker, Jutkiewicz, Platt (Eastwood 84). Subs Not Used: Quirke, Cameron, Deegan, O’Donovan.
Att: 15,817 Ref: Gavin Ward (Surrey).