Dean Bouzanis: 7
Coming off the back of a strong defensive performance, ideally Paul Ince wouldn’t have wanted to change his ‘keeper, but he was forced into doing just that with Joe Lumley unable to play against his parent club.
Bouzanis’ kicking left a lot to be desired, and he wasn't troubled as much as he could’ve been as the visitors squandered a few promising openings. However, he kept a clean sheet and didn’t do anything majorly wrong.
Tom Holmes: 7
The defensive performance was seriously impressive, but more because of the structure and organisation rather than stand-out moments of defending. Holmes’ concentration and organisation was great, and because of that he wasn’t called into any notable pieces of defending, but what he did have to do, he did with assurance.
Sam Hutchinson: 7
A surprise inclusion, and his performance was much like Holmes’. Defensively sound and looks like he'll be an astute addition. A shame he had to go off injured in the second half, but hopefully it was of a precaution than anything.
Tom McIntyre: 7
Will take huge confidence from the last two games after having a bit of a shocker away at Rotherham United. He’s starting to make that left-sided centre back position his own. He is clearly the best on the ball of our centre backs and it was good to see him show a bit of attacking intent on occasions too.
Andy Yiadom: 7
Mr Reliable. Another impressive shift from the skipper. Once all the pieces of the jigsaw are in place, I’m looking forward to seeing him in that right-wing-back position. Had to be shifted back to centre back midway through the second half, but he did perfectly fine there too.
Jeff Hendrick: 6
Hasn’t quite yet hit the heights of the two who line up alongside him in central midfield but, as with everybody else in blue and white hoops at the moment, he’s clearly giving his all and working as hard as he can every minute he’s on the pitch. We’re still yet to see the best of Hendrick, but I’m sure we will soon enough.
Mamadou Loum: 6
Already a cult hero. I thought on the ball he was actually pretty poor today, losing it a few times in dangerous positions. But off the ball, he was as tenacious and aggressive as he was on Wednesday. He’ll pick up a few cards this season, as he did again today, but he’s looking like a seriously good addition to this team.
Tyrese Fornah: 8
Took a couple of games to find his feet at Championship level, and there’s still a lot to improve on, but he’s getting better and better by the game. Capped another energetic, full-blooded performance with a lovely goal, connecting sweetly with a half volley and flashing it past Zack Steffen.
Junior Hoilett: 7
Gave Isaiah Jones a torrid time in the first half. He was a constant threat down the left-hand side, producing some teasing crosses and having an effort saved by Steffen. Jones is a tricky player going forward and Hoilett negated him very well too. It’s easy to forget that Hoilett is playing out of position considering how effectively he’s playing the wing-back role at the moment.
Tom Ince: 6
Not his most effective performance going forward, and would of course have wanted more opportunities to have a go at ‘Boro. However, as ever, he left absolutely everything out there. The fans only ever want players who never give up and give 100% every single game, and Ince Jr epitomises that to a tee. I absolutely adore him.
Shane Long: 6
Take nostalgia away from it, Shane Long genuinely still has a lot to offer in this division. He might be 35 and may have lost a yard of pace or two, but boy is he street smart. 10 years of playing in the Premier League have honed him as a player, and despite not doing any one thing outstandingly today, he is a very good all round striker. A quiet game in front of goal for him today, as it was for the whole team, but did his job well.
Lucas Joao: 5
Looked a little bit off it when he came on actually. Came on at a time when we needed him to release a bit of pressure on us by holding the ball up and killing some time. Did that well on a couple of occasions, but also lost possession cheaply a few times too. Still fantastic to hear how emphatic Paul Ince was about Joao’s future after the game though - we need him this season.
John Clarke: 7
Gets a seven for one reason and one reason only: *that* block. As soon as the ball got pulled back to the ‘Boro striker I had my head in my hands thinking “we’ve blown it”, but out of nowhere John Clarke flew in and put in a phenomenal block, potentially the difference between three points and one today.
Who was your MOTM against Middlesbrough? Vote below or through this link.