DUNCAN WATMORE supplied a belated birthday present to Neil Warnock and maybe an early Christmas current for himself as Middlesbrough downed Swansea.
The 26-year-old struck each targets, his first for the membership, as Boro took the factors with a 2-1 win over their play-off rivals.
Duncan Watmore struck twice as Boro defeated SwanseaCredit score: Getty
The ahead was solely signed final month on a deal till January following his launch by Sunderland, and he rewarded his supervisor’s religion along with his double-salvo a day after the veteran boss turned 72.
And his match-winning show might be sufficient to have landed himself a contract extension – though Warnock is refusing to offer an excessive amount of away.
He stated: “He’s solely had one good recreation, let’s wait and see.
“We haven’t obtained anyone like that. He’s accountable, works onerous, covers essentially the most floor in coaching, and he deserved tonight.
“We gave him a spherical of applause within the dressing-room as a result of he deserves it after what he has been by means of with horrendous accidents and he’ll go house and be on cloud 9.
“He’s a gem of a lad and we didn’t pay him for a couple of weeks.
“He obtained good provides to go away to India, South Africa, all kinds of locations, however he stated he liked it right here.”
As anticipated within the assembly of the Championship’s two meanest defences, the competition started like a chess match with neither backline barely giving an inch.
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Lastly, within the nineteenth minute, the sport produced its first actual alternative when Jamal Lowe unleashed a fierce low drive that pressured Marcus Bettinelli right into a save.
Warnock was removed from filled with birthday cheer after Watmore was penalised for a foul on Marc Guehi moments later, screaming: “Duncan, the linesman goes to flag each time you go close to the defender so do not breathe on him.”
However seconds later he and Watmore have been shouting with pleasure.
Watmore reduce in from the left earlier than pulling the set off from 20 yards – his strike deflecting off Guehi previous the outstretched Freddie Woodman.
Woodman then denied Sam Morsy from close-range earlier than Swans boss Steve Cooper made a triple change on the break, and he ought to have been immediately rewarded.
A mixture-up led to Bettinelli spooning a clearance under-pressure from sub Viktor Gyokeres, however the Swede’s delay allowed Fry to deflect his shot over.
Woodman parried a Marvin Johnson long-ranger around the put up because the hosts started to pile on the stress, with the identical man additionally almost scoring direct from a nook and Morsy denied by a goalline clearance.
Watmore secured the factors along with his closing contact Credit score: Getty
Neil Warnock celebrated his 72nd birthday on TuesdayCredit score: Getty
Nevertheless it was Watmore who stored his cool after racing clear on the counter from Paddy McNair’s go to double the benefit along with his closing contact earlier than being changed by George Saville on 78 minutes.
His work was achieved – however his team-mates have been pressured right into a nervous end when Yan Dhanda’s deflected strike from the sting of the world gave Swansea some hope with 12 to go.
However their late stress failed to inform as Boro held on – leaving Warnock questioning Watmore he can count on from his two-goal ace.
Swansea boss Steve Cooper stated: “It’s disappointing. Proper from the beginning. There’s not many positives to take out of the sport.
“The gamers know we dropped our requirements and fell brief.
“We at all times take a look at ourselves, and we will’t blame something apart from ourselves tonight as we have been nicely brief.”