Steve Agnew says a goal for Patrick Bamford was the highlight of an otherwise disappointing afternoon for Boro.
The striker netted his first goal since returning to Teesside in January, on his first Premier League start in over a year.
“I’m really pleased for Patrick because it’s been a frustrating 18 months for him,” Agnew said.
“He’s a real talent. It’s taken him a while to get up to speed but he deserves his chance and he’s taken it.”
Bamford’s headed effort proved to be mere consolation for Boro, who were beaten 2-1 by Southampton in the club’s final home game of the season.
“It was a difficult afternoon, emotionally we’re all disappointed,” Agnew said.
“It was a game we wanted to win, we wanted to give something back to the fans after what’s been a hard season.
“Again, we made it difficult for ourselves. We eventually clawed our way back in but we couldn’t get the result we wanted.
“The fans are passionate about their club. They want success and what’s best, and we’re exactly the same. We must stick together, we regroup in the summer and look forward to the new campaign.”