Michael Carrick admitted Middlesbrough’s bench made the difference after they came from a goal behind beat Millwall 3-1 at The Den in the Sky Bet Championship.
Carrick’s Boro were on a high after Tuesday’s 1-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first leg victory over Chelsea and rounded off an impressive week with victory over another London side.
Joe Bryan opened the scoring for the hosts before strikes from Lukas Engel, Isaiah Jones and substitute Marcus Forss turned things around.
Matt Crooks also came off the bench to have a positive impact in the second half.
Carrick said: “We knew it was going to be a challenge but we found our way the longer the game went, I’m delighted for the boys.
“We showed good spirit and quality and the bench made the difference for us, which we missed for a period of time.
“I thought the squad felt strong today and it can get stronger. We have a good group.
“Marcus (Forss) has worked hard for a period of time now and it’s a big goal for him and for us.”
Millwall struggled to replicate their dominant first half display and lost their way in the second 45.
Manager Joe Edwards highlighted his team’s injuries and agreed that Boro’s squad depth played a part on the day.
He added: “We felt that today (Boro’s depth). I’ve felt it in other games as well.
“I remember being stood down there when we were hanging on to a 1-0 lead against Norwich and when I saw the subs they were bringing on I thought ‘wow, that’s some impact and it will now get harder in the final 20 to 30 minutes.’
“That’s something I felt today.
“There’s a group of around seven of our players in their tracksuits today who are unable to play and that hurts us.”
Edwards struggled to hide his disappointment after the Lions failed to make it four successive league wins.
He said: “It’s disappointing. The goals they scored were soft and the bottom line is if you are playing a team at that level and dominate as much as we did in the first half an hour we needed to cash in and get that second goal.”