Matchwinner Marten de Roon says Boro were happy with an all-important derby win against Sunderland on Wednesday.

The Dutch midfielder latched on to Adam Clayton's pass after just eight minutes to slot home his fifth goal of the season.

And while Boro had to dig deep as the match wore on at the Riverside, De Roon says the three points were a more than welcome reward.

"It was a relief, because we needed to find a win," he admitted. 

"Last week was a big disappointment at Bournemouth.

"Today we said this is a derby, we're playing Sunderland, and we have to take our chance to win this game at home."

De Roon says Boro must carry the momentum forward when they return to the Riverside for the visit of Manchester City on Sunday.

"We can celebrate very loud but that doesn't take us out of the relegation zone," he said.

"There are only four games left now, and we still are six points behind.

"But we're really happy with the three points, and we're three points closer to safety.

"It gives us confidence and some hope, to get above that line.

"There are difficult games to play but nothing is impossible, and hopefully this winning feeling continues."