1. ITV Report

Tony Pulis praises community effort to get game on as Boro ease past Leeds

Photo: Mark Kerton/PA Archive/PA Images

Tony Pulis hailed the off-field efforts that resulted in Middlesbrough being able to return to the Championship play-off places courtesy of a 3-0 win over Leeds.

Patrick Bamford was the hat-trick hero as Boro claimed their third home win in succession, but Pulis was quick to pay tribute to the efforts of the Riverside ground-staff that meant the game was able to take place despite the sub-zero temperatures in the north-east.

Heavy snowfall throughout the week had made it unlikely that the game would take place, but a 24-hour clear-up operation meant the pitch was playable and the areas surrounding Middlesbrough's home ground were safe enough for a crowd of more than 27,000 to watch the Teessiders outplay their opponents.

It was the best performance since I've been here. That's nine goals in three games now and we have played very well.

But this win is about the whole club. People from the community and our staff turned up for two days to get the pitch and terraces cleared and get the game on.

It has been a first-class performance from everyone, people who love this club. That certainly inspired me, and this is a can-do area. I'm pleased for the folk who worked for nothing to get this game on."

– Tony Pulis, Middlesbrough manager
Patrick Bamford scored his first senior hattrick against Leeds United Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire/PA Images

Pulis also reserved special praise for Bamford, whose first career hat-trick made it six goals in his last three games.

Patrick deserves to get the plaudits for his three. He is a tremendous talent and needs to keep it going.

But there were some good performances around the team. That was front-foot football, I like that. Move the ball quickly and have attempts on goal."

– Tony Pulis, Middlesbrough manager