Reserve team boss Steve Wigley has hailed Bradley Wright-Phillips as his "money man" after the striker grabbed a late winner to give the reserves their first win of the season.
The youngster scored with just three minutes to go, grabbing the limelight in a similar fashion to his goals for the senior side so far. Last December, Wright-Phillips scored against Middlesbrough a few minutes after making his Premiership debut as a replacement, and he scored twice after coming off the bench against Olympiacos a week last Saturday.
However, Wigley did not give his star striker or the team a wholly glowing review, pointing to a change in formation as crucial to the eventual outcome.
"I thought in the first half we didn’t hold the ball up at the front, and when you don’t do that no matter what system you play you will have problems.
"I was forced to change to 4-3-3 which made us a bit stronger in midfield. We were lucky to be in the game in the first half really. I thought Middlesbrough were the better team, we started brightly, but it just went away from us."
Wright-Phillips had a quiet game, but he displayed the handy knack of making the most of whatever chance came his way - which crucially turned out to be the match-winning moment.
"Bradley hadn’t had his best of games – he’s what I call a ‘money man’ though. When certain people are in that position you want to be with them. I was quite pleased when it fell to him. It was the only one he had on the night and he tucked it away.
"It was a great ball from Stephen Ireland, who we got on the ball in the second half. That was the key with the system and he started to get his foot on it a little bit."
On paper the reserves have made an encouraging start to the season, being unbeaten so far, but their manager says that there is still some room for improvment.
"We just need to get a little bit sharper. We heve worked very hard this pre-season but I still don’t think we’ve got that little bit of zip yet.
"I’m pleased we won. It’s always nice to go home having won because it could have gone the other way...End of school report – can do better!"