Steve Agnew applauded his players’ efforts after being narrowly bested by Arsenal at the Riverside.
Alvaro Negredo stabbed in just after half-time to cancel out Alexis Sanchez’s opener, but Mesut Ozil struck shortly after to ensure Arsenal took all three points back to North London.
Agnew was full of praise for the grit and determination of his players despite falling just short.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the group of players, they gave every ounce of energy over 94 minutes,” Agnew said.
“I told them at half-time we needed to play forward a little earlier, and when we scored the goal we put them under real pressure.
“Even when we conceded the second we still had chances when the ball went into the box.
“We tried everything we could from a tactical point of view.”
Agnew said fine lines were the difference as Dani Ayala and Adama Traore saw chances to grab a second Boro goal.
“Dani’s is a knock-down, he’s got his head on it and unfortunately it goes straight at Petr Cech,” he said.
“Either side and it’s a goal – Dani did everything he could.
“Adama has the pace to hurt the opposition and he had some great runs.
“Rudy [Gestede] came on. We went with two strikers and we were on the front foot but it just wasn’t to be.”
Agnew says Boro will be back to work tomorrow as the fight for Premier League survival continues.
“This group don’t know how to give in and they will never, ever stop,” he said.
“As I’ve just said to them, we’ll start to prepare tomorrow and we go to Bournemouth ready.”