Middlesbrough 0 Leeds United 1: Now let’s start beating the lower ranked teams as well – Gray

Scott Wootton's effort goes over the bar at Middlesbrough.
Scott Wootton's effort goes over the bar at Middlesbrough.
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I Thought Saturday’s win at Middlesbrough was a great away performance from Leeds.

We dug in, we worked hard and we were obviously playing against a good side.

Middlesbrough played some good stuff but our goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri, was brilliant, and I thought the big centre-half, Sol Bamba, was terrific.

It was just an overall good team performance and they must take great confidence out of that.

You’ve got to say that it was backs against the wall stuff for long periods of the game, there’s no doubt about that.

The goalkeeper made a lot of good saves and he deserved to be man of the match but they were the sort of saves you would expect your goalkeeper to make though one or two of them were outstanding.

But I thought we were throwing our bodies on the line in the box and putting challenges in and when we had the opportunity we took our chance through Alex Mowatt.

And Bamba should have scored just before half-time to put us two-up and then we hit the crossbar through Scott Wootton in the second half, too.

So we had our moments in the game as well which was good.

I think it suits us playing away from home in a way because we can hit teams quickly on the break and we have got that running power with Sam Byram, Rodolph Austin and Lewis Cook who can get at people swiftly.

And I must say I thought Steve Morison led the line well on Saturday.

He worked his socks off, won his headers, chased people, made it difficult for defenders to come into the game and he also held the ball up well for other players.

I think everybody played their part and you can look at the Boro game and think everybody has done their jobs.

Bamba was captain on Saturday and he made some great challenges.

And he’s a leader.

He’s got that bit of experience, you can see him talking to people and I think the players are all responding to him.

He’s also got a lot of authority on the pitch and it will be interesting to see what happens now that Giuseppe Bellusci is suspended for the next two games.

Liam Cooper who is club captain will come in and it will be interesting to see who gets the armband tomorrow night at Brighton.

I think Bamba will keep it – that’s my opinion – but Neil Redfearn might have another view of it.

But either way, Bamba has been a big asset to the club since he’s come in.

That’s three clean sheets and three away wins and that tells you everything as previously conceding goals had been our downfall.

Now we are going really well and when you look at the top three sides – we’ve taken 15 points out of 18 against them.

We’ve defeated Bournemouth twice, we’ve beat Middlesbrough twice and Derby at home too and when you actually think about that, you would think Leeds would actually be in a better position in the league.

It just goes to show that they’re capable of doing it, but they’ve got to do it every week and against the lesser sides, too.

It’s just that consistency that’s been lacking but we seem to be getting it now.

We are top of the Championship form table taken over the last six games and in Middlesbrough we were playing against a side that had won their last five home games before they played us – and hadn’t lost at the Riverside in the league since August.

They were the form side in the league.

People start talking about the top six but we’ve just got to keep playing every game that comes and we’ve now won five out of six.

If we do that again – win the next five out of six – then we’re going to be in contention – no doubt about that.

But we’ve got to keep it going – starting tomorrow night down at Brighton and Hove Albion.

That will not be an easy game but the way we are playing we can go into any game confident we can win matches.

That’s a great thing and you’ve got to be very optimistic when you have taken a possible 15 points out of the last 18 in the league.

Pontus Jansson heads in the winner against Norwich. PIC: Simon Hulme

Big-match verdict: United’s six-week run reels in the top six