RUSSELL SLADE was pleased with his defensively resolute Cardiff City side as they overcame Middlesbrough 1-0 in the Sky Bet Championship.
In what proved to be a tight contest between the two sides, the Bluebirds finally made the breakthrough thanks to a George Friend own goal four minutes from time.
And Slade was left satisfied after coming out on top against a robust Middlesbrough team.
“It was a tight affair and that was to be expected,” he told the media at his post-match press conference.
“They don’t concede many goals so we knew they would be a difficult unit to break down.
“It was a question of staying disciplined and focussed for the entire 90 minutes and that’s what we did.
“It was an important win for us. It’s a good result on the back of two hard-earned points on the road.”
The goal arrived in bizarre fashion as the game looked set to end in a stalemate.
Joe Mason had a point-blank range shot superbly stopped by the impressive Boro goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos, who then proceeded to kick the ball away from danger as Mason charged in for the rebound.
But his attempted clearance struck Friend and bounced off the left-back and into the goal.
And Slade admits that the manner in which the goal came was lucky.
The former Leyton Orient manager suggested: “For the first time this season, we had a bit of fortune with the goal.
“They’ll (Middlesbrough) be disappointed with the goal they conceded and I would be too.
“It was unfortunate for them but we’ve not had a lot of fortune at times this season. Games can be won on small things and very little details- and that’s what it was.”
Prior to the match, Middlesbrough sat in third place in the table and, having also reached the Play-Off Final last season, Slade revealed that Aitor Karanka’s side provided a good benchmark to measure Cardiff’s progress.
“It was three points against a very good side that we know are going to be up there,” he commented.
“It was always going to be a yardstick for us. It’s vitally important to take three points off your rivals.”
One negative for the 2012 League Cup finalists, however, was the attendance of 13,371 – the lowest ever recorded league attendance at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Asked what they have to do to attract more supporters to the ground, Slade insisted: “We’ve got to keep winning games.
“That’s our fourth win at home now so our home form is pretty solid at this moment in time.
“It’s very difficult on a Tuesday night for Middlesbrough fans to boost the gate. It’s hard for them to come so far, especially after an international break away.”
Attentions now turn to Monday night, when Cardiff will look to extend their unbeaten run to five games in the televised clash with Bristol City.