Aitor Karanka says that his Boro side showed how much they have improved in Monday night's match at the Riverside.
Gaston Ramirez's header was enough to separate the sides, with Karanka pleased with how his team closed the game out.
"I think we deserved the win," he said.
"We had a lot of chances, we had a lot of possession and finally, we got the goal.
"Then when we scored, we showed our experience and managed the game well.
"I am really proud of the team because every Premier League game is different and difficult."
Karanka was delighted for match-winner Ramirez, who was facing his former club, but the Head Coach was eager to praise his team as a collective.
"Gaston is an important player," he said.
"But we are in this position because of all of them.
"Playing the way we have in the last five or six games, that is how we will go forward.
"We are a recently-promoted team. We've done nothing yet and in the Premier League you can't be complacent.
"The best way to add experience is winning and adding points. Now we are up to 15 and we have to keep going."
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