Boss Garry Monk was happy with his first match in charge at the Riverside – as Middlesbrough fought back for a 2-1 friendly victory over Bundesliga club Augsburg.
The Boro chief saw his side fall behind after 63 seconds, but he was delighted with the character shown by his side ahead of this Saturday’s Championship opener away to Wolves.
“The way we finished shows the mentality of the players we have here,” said ex-Leeds and Swansea manager Monk. “You have to react to adversity and keep going.
“These games are as much about fitness as football and the attitude of the players here from day one has been first-class.”
The hosts found themselves behind early on when Augsburg defender Konstantinos Stafylidis found space on the edge of the penalty area, before lashing the ball home from a tight angle.
It was a rare moment of uncertainty from Boro’s backline, as goalkeeper Darren Randolph barely had a save to make for the remainder of the afternoon.
Boro had Martin Braithwaite, Patrick Bamford and record signing Britt Assombalonga up front.
Of the three, it was Braithwaite, a £9million capture from French side Toulouse, had the biggest influence.
As well as scoring his first goal at the Riverside to level matters at 1-1, when he controlled and converted Cyrus Christie’s 37th-minute cross, Braithwaite was a constant threat, cutting in from the left and finding space in promising, attacking positions.
Alongside the Dane, the much-hyped Assombalonga hassled and harried Augsburg’s defenders, without quite looking lup to full speed just yet.
Six of Boro’s seven new signings made appearances, with right-back Christie also impressinh with some marauding runsl.
Boro won it in the final seconds, when sub Ashley Fletcher forced a mistake from defender Daniel Opare.
The 21-year-old striker charged through on goal before cutting the ball back to Adam Forshaw, who tapped home the winner from close range to a delight a 7,939 crowd.
Monk added on mfc.co.uk: “These type of games are always good, ones against teams who are technically very good.
“There were some really good passages of play, but there is still a long way to go. Overall, I was pretty pleased, but it will take time to get this group to their full potential.
“There was one negative – the start we made and I’ve told the players that. But there were plenty positives.”