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The Boss: Smith on thumping win, his biggest satisfaction, 'excellent' El Ghazi and huge clash with West Brom next week

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The Boss: Smith on thumping win, his biggest satisfaction, 'excellent' El Ghazi and huge clash with West Brom next week

Dean Smith spoke to Club TV after another fantastic away win at Middlesbrough on Saturday evening.

His thoughts can be read below in full.


On a brilliant performance on Teesside...

I thought we controlled the ball well all night – especially in the first half. 

We should have had a penalty, too, when Tammy Abraham got brought down.

We've been working hard on set pieces of late and it was good to see James Chester get on the end of a corner to give us the lead.

We controlled the game for long periods. Boro had the odd sporadic break but we dealt with everything they had.

I thought our attacking play was good, as well as our counter pressing when we lost the ball.

Overall, we controlled everything.


On his biggest satisfaction of the night...

The biggest thing for me tonight was the clean sheet. I insisted Wednesday was a freak result.

I felt people were throwing a lot of questions at our defending and our goalkeeper after midweek.

We defend as a team and that's four clean sheets in eight games now. I can only be pleased with what we're doing.

On pulling through after some tricky obstacles...

We were down to the bare bones in some respects today.

Mile Jedinak has got off the treatment table to be on the bench because of all the injuries.

We had Alan Hutton suspended, too. Good depth is what you need in football.

On goal, after goal, after goal under his reign...

That's the way I want to play. If you sit back in this league, then you're inviting trouble.

My philosophy is to go forward – to drive forward.

If you score more than the opposition then the game is put to bed. That's what we did today.


On the statement of scoring three against the league's best defence...

It says a lot.

It was hard to break them down. We had to show quality with our deliveries into the box.

There was some great play. Especially when John McGinn found Yannick Bolasie, who crossed in for Abraham. Thankfully he stuck his long leg out and diverted it in.

We knew at 2-0 it would be very difficult for them to come back. So it proved.

On always striving for more...

Unfortunately we stopped the sequence - two, three, four, five, but not six!

It's a credit to the players, though. They've faced two teams who've had a day's extra rest before the games this week.

Jack Grealish was making runs towards the end with all sorts of pain in his body. The players don't know what they've got sometimes.

We're finding their limits.


On Anwar El Ghazi's first start under his tenure...

I thought he was excellent.He understands the game tactically and has taken on a lot of information.

He stopped them getting to our full-backs and closed the outside of their centre-halves.

He helped make us very good at picking up second balls today. Grealish, Conor Hourihane, McGinn and Glenn Whelan all deserve credit for that as well.

On Yannick Bolasie's latest impressive display...

He's showing us what he's made of. He's got a lot of pace and quality.

It's two starts on the spin now, and he's getting back to what I remember of him before I came here.

He's showing that excellence he's got.


On Glenn Whelan's goal...

I'm made up for Glenn. He sets the tempo in training – he's terrific.

He sets standards around the training ground, along with Jedinak, and I'm so pleased for him.

He was disappointed not to start in the week, because he was very good against Birmingham.

But I've got the ability to rotate in that area of the pitch at the moment.

On West Bromwich Albion next Friday...

It's a big game at the Hawthorns – I'm looking forward to it.

They and their manager Darren Moore have done really well this season. It'll be a tough game but it's certainly one we relish.

We went to Derby and won 3-0, came here to Middlesbrough and did the same. We're hoping for a similar performance.

Dan Connor
By @danconnor 1st December 2018