Soccer

Liam Manning praises Bristol City for Middlesbrough win after ‘relentless’ run

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick felt that his side had given themselves too much work to do after falling two behind.

Bristol City manager Liam Manning
Bristol City manager Liam Manning (Joe Giddens/PA) Bristol City manager Liam Manning (Joe Giddens/PA)

Liam Manning praised Bristol City’s players for delivering a first Sky Bet Championship win of 2024 just days after coming through 120 minutes of FA Cup action.

Despite losing on penalties at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, the Robins were able to bounce back with a much-needed win at Middlesbrough.

Jason Knight’s cool finish in the 16th minute after he had been put through by Lukas Engel put Bristol City in charge.

Less than two minutes later Matty James fired in the second in off the post following a misplaced Hayden Hackney pass.

Middlesbrough could not find a way back into the contest, despite pulling one back in stoppage-time when Finn Azaz’s effort deflected in off the back of Samuel Silvera.

Manning, whose side had not won in the league since Boxing Day, was relieved to finally see his side claim three points.

He said: “We had six changes from Wednesday and the lads put in so much to Wednesday, so we needed everybody.

“The fact we found a way to win in a variety of ways is something to learn from. I made two changes early second half too because I felt energy was going to be important.

“We played 120 minutes on Wednesday, plus the travel, it has been a relentless programme for us. We came here with no excuses and you have to max out. I enjoyed it.

“The first half plan worked. The players did a terrific job in implementing it.

“We knew they would have a lot of possession and we were happy to give them it in front of us. We did an excellent job of counter attacking.

“We did an outstanding job of competing, we had blocked shots and crosses, we showed a great togetherness second half.

“They had very few chances really. I was pleased with the second half for different reasons.”

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick felt that his side had given themselves too much work to do after falling two behind.

Carrick’s side have now won just one of their last seven league matches at the Riverside – leaving them six points off the play-offs.

Carrick said: “I thought there was enough in the game for us to get something.

“In the end we didn’t start particularly well, we didn’t start like us and paid the price.

“Those two quick goals gave them a massive start in the game. My players showed character and ended up playing good football, it just didn’t go for us. In the end it was too much.

“We finished the first half with good signs, the boys looked like themselves and we carried that on. I still thought we looked a threat, we just didn’t end up finishing it off.

“I have belief in the boys, there is s still a lot of good things going on in the game. I know they are capable of taking the chances. We have to believe it will turn.”