Marvin Johnson salutes Boro’s spirit after comeback success against QPR

Winger Marvin Johnson hailed his Middlesbrough team-mates’ determination after coming from behind twice to sink QPR 3-2 on Saturday.

Boro climbed to within a point and a position of the Championship play-off places at the Riverside.

The Teessiders fell behind early in each half courtesy of goals from David Wheeler and Jamie Mackie, but levelled things up through Lewis Baker (36) and Ashley Fletcher (56).

Then Britt Assombalonga dived to head his fifth goal since moving from Nottingham Forest, on the hour, to claim an important three points.

Lively Johnson said: “The goals they scored we can look back and we’re at fault and they’re goals we can’t afford to concede.

“It’s not always easy when you go a goal down at home. The away side try to lock it up and it can be hard to break them down.

“We showed great character to get back on top and ride out the game.”

Ex-Oxford and Motherwell flier Johnson was happy with his efforts, adding on “I was lucky enough to create two of the home goals. But I think we can still play a whole lot better.

“I’ve still got a point to prove to the fans, the players and the staff here so I’ll keep my head down and keep working hard.”

Boro boss Garry Monk paid tribute to his players for emerging from a tough week unbeaten – winning 3-0 at Bolton and drawing 0-0 at Aston Villa – and ending it on a winning note.

Monk said: “We are very pleased with the result. First half, QPR came with a plan to try to frustrate and slow things down.

“We gifted them the first goal and made it difficult for us. We didn’t affect the game how we wanted to. We were disappointed at half-time, and, in the second half, we changed a couple of things.

“That put us on the front foot but we made another mistake from an avoidable goal. Credit to the players to face those situations. We had a good 25-minute period where we got our lead and if anything we should have extended it after that.

“On account of all that, we have had a hard week. There is always a debate in my mind, that freshness, physical side of it... should you change things? But they deserved to play. Credit to those that did. It’s an important trait to win when you are not at your best. We were clinical in the right areas at the right times.”

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Christie, Fry, Gibson, Da Silva, Leadbitter (Howson 56), Clayton (Fletcher 46), Baker, Downing (Forshaw 78), Assombalonga, Johnson. Subs: Konstantopoulos, Friend, Shotton, Bamford. Booked: Clayton, Leadbitter, Christie, Baker. Goals: Baker 37, Fletcher 55, Assombalonga 60.

QPR: Smithies, Furlong, Baptiste, Robinson, Bidwell, Luongo, Freeman, Manning, Wheeler (Sylla 68), Smith (Mackie 46), LuaLua (Wszolek 46). Subs not used: Borysiuk, Ngbakoto, Lumley, Samuel. Booked: Luongo, Wszolek, Smithies, Mackie. Goals: Wheeler 2, Mackie 50.

Att: 24,790. Ref: Darren Bond (Lancashire).