Jelle Vossen paid tribute to the players and staff at the club after opening his Middlesbrough account with a terrific treble at Millwall on Saturday.

The Belgian made his 13th appearance of the season for Boro at the Den and was yet to score his first goal, but in remarkable fashion, he found the net three times in the space of 22 minutes to help blast Aitor Karanka's side to a four goal lead before half-time and the Genk loanee was delighted with his performance. 

"It was a brilliant game for me," said Jelle. "At the beginning I had a header that was stopped on the line and I was thinking 'oh no, not again' and then another shot saved on the line, but after that I was able to score three goals so I'm very happy. 

"But I have to thank the lads and the staff as well because everyone has kept on giving me confidence and that's the most important thing for a striker. 

"I knew when I got one goal the rest would follow so I'm happy that it happened on Saturday - now it's up to us to keep working hard and do the same in the next few games. 

"I was shocked that my header didn't go in, but I knew I just had to keep doing my task, and then I got some more chances and was able to score three of them so I'm happy, but also with the performance of the team. 

"I think we took the game in our hands from the beginning and didn't give it away so it was a nice afternoon for us and gives us lots of confidence for the next few days.

"I think we had a great start, we pressed very high and they had some difficulties which was a good thing for us. 

"Everyone worked very hard to keep pressing our opponents and then you saw that we have a lot of quality to score goals."

Derby arrive at the Riverside on Saturday sitting top of the Championship, with Boro trailing the league leaders by just two points.

And Jelle says his team are full of confidence, in good form and believe they have the ability to beat anyone.

He said: "Everyone knows we're in good form and the victory last Saturday gives us a lot of confidence to go into the next few tough games. 

"Let them (Derby) come to Middlesbrough and we'll fight for it and show what we're worth. 

"I think we're doing well but we have to keep going and it's still early, nothing is decided in December, every game is very important so now we have to rest and be ready for the next game."

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