Reaction to Boro's New Year's Day draw at Derby County and the latest on Martin Braithwaite's future are talking points in today's newspapers...
Jordan Hugill proves a great leveller for Boro
Middlesbrough showed why they are one of the hardest sides to beat in the Championship by coming from behind to hold Derby to a 1-1 draw at Pride Park. Harry Wilson had fired Derby into an early lead with another spectacular finish but Jordan Hugill buried a second-half header to earn his side a deserved point.
Wilson went off injured after the break but Derby could have won it when David Nugent was denied by Darren Randolph near the end.
Rams Held By Play-Off Rivals Boro
Promotions rivals Derby County and Middlesbrough had to settle for a point each in a game of missed opportunities at Pride Park.
Harry Wilson gave the Rams the ideal start to 2019, putting them ahead with a fiercely stuck low shot from the edge of the area inside two minutes.
Jordan Hugill levelled early in the second half, flashing a header past goalkeeper Scott Carson after meeting a delightfully weighted cross from George Friend.
Danny Batth should have put Boro in front moment later, only for Carson to foil the defender from point-blank range, while David Nugent was equally wasteful when he fired straight at Darren Randolph late on.
The stalemate leaves Boro fifth and the Rams sixth in the table and equal on points.
Gutsy Boro Bounce Back
Middlesbrough recovered from a dreadful start at Derby to claim a battling point.
Tony Pulis's side put in the sort of performance that will boost the spirits of everyone connected with the club.
Derby took the lead in the second minute and briefly threatened to take total command but the visitors soaked up the early pressure and then, slowly but surely, clawed their way back into the match.
Huge credit goes to each and every member of the Middlesbrough team who grafted tirelessly to subdue the Rams and then start creating a chance or two.
There's s steely resolution about this Boro outfit and their critics write them off at their peril.
Pulis Delighted With Response And Reveals Boro Set To Lose Braithwaite
Tony Pulis has revealed that Danish forward Martin Braithwaite has got “the move he wanted” after watching Middlesbrough start the new year with a point at Frank Lampard’s Derby County.
Braithwaite was not at Pride Park to see the his Boro team-mates respond to falling behind to a Harry Wilson strike inside 90 seconds by grabbing an equaliser through the head of Jordan Hugill seven minutes after the break.
The point means Middlesbrough stay ahead of Derby in the battle for promotion, although both remain six shy of second placed Norwich City and a further two adrift of leaders Leeds United, who lost at Nottingham Forest.
Middlesbrough, who play Peterborough in the FA Cup on Saturday, are now looking to make changes to the squad following the opening transfer window, having already secured the services of Huddersfield’s Rajiv van la Parra on loan.
The number of additions could well be determined by departures, and Braithwaite is set to be the first out of the exit door after heading to Spain to finalise a deal with Leganes.
Pulis said: “We will do business, in and out. Braithwaite is talking to Leganes as we talk. The club who were interested in him in the summer. We think that will happen.
“I have not had a lot of time with him, I had two or three weeks before he went last season on loan, four or five months this season. Good luck if he wants to go. He wanted to go in summer. He has got his move now.”
Meanwhile, Pulis is excited to have van la Parra on board.
He said: “If you look at our performances we have been very good away from home, at home we have not had that pace and quality to break teams down. He gives us that pace and quality and he is a leg beater. He will give us a little bit more.”