AS everyone else talked about Adama Traore afterwards, Garry Monk attempted to discuss the value of Middlesbrough’s team ethic. He must have realised his words were likely to be drowned out.

Yet Boro’s manager had a point when he suggested that success this season will be a collective effort. “It’s about the whole squad for me,” he said, and it will have to be, if his team are to escape the clutches of the Championship at the first attempt.

This is a competition in which more than half of the teams have a serious chance of being promoted, a 46-match campaign that leaves little time for a breather. Traore was outstanding at Bolton, and every one of the 4,165 travelling fans who watched through sunshine and sleet will remember his display for a long time to come.

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Yet it was not just down to their enigmatic winger that Boro ended their 13-month pursuit of an away victory. Adam Clayton’s shielding of the back four was key, as was the defensive partnership of Dael Fry and Ben Gibson, as was the athletic early save that Darren Randolph made from Gary Madine’s clever volley on the turn.

Monk’s philosophy is that it is as important to do the basics right as the fancy stuff. There was one moment, midway through the second half, as Boro led 1-0, that summed up that approach perfectly.

It came when Bolton winger Filipe Morais took a quick free-kick a few yards inside the Boro half, giving Craig Noone a chance to attack down the left and deliver a cross. He was unable to do so, as Britt Assombalonga got back to make the block. Assombalonga’s two goals, both created by Traore, are the moments that will be replayed over and over again, but his willingness to muck in with defensive duties as his team defended their single-goal lead was every bit as crucial.

In fairness to Traore, the message to defend as well as attack has got through to him as well. The winger did his bit to help Boro clear their lines when the pressure was on. Few will remember that, though, because he was so good going forward. Monk believes he can be even better, on a consistent basis. Then again, he believes that about all of Boro’s players.

“I think your job as a manager, when you’re working with players, is to try to help them realise what they can be, and what they need to do to reach their full potential,” Monk said.

“All of them are probably not at their full potential. Well, they’re not. But if you can try to help them see what they could be, then put that plan in place for them, I think that’s what you have to do.”

The signs are starting to look good. Boro’s last away win before Saturday was so long ago, that Barack Obama was still the president of the United States. Against admittedly poor opposition, that gloomy run was ended in style.

Having survived the early scare of Madine’s effort, Boro went in front with a moment of Traore magic. He was part rugby league forward, part ballet dancer as he tumbled over a Mark Beevers challenge, then leapt to his feet, charged past left-back Antonee Robinson and delivered a perfect cross from the right for Assombalonga to guide a header into the corner. It was easy to see, in that moment, why Traore had once played in Barcelona’s first team. At 21, he still has the time to realise his potential.

It was to be a torrid afternoon for Robinson, the left-back on loan from Everton, making his league debut. Bolton manager Phil Parkinson suggested afterwards that the young defender could hardly have faced a tougher opponent. Another fine Traore run and cross was headed out by David Wheater for Lewis Baker to fire over, and the winger then rolled a shot wide after turning Beevers on the edge of the area.

There was one hairy moment, a wild challenge on Morais just before half-time that brought a yellow card as the home fans screamed for red, but Traore’s day was all sunshine from there.

Not that it was all straightforward for Boro. Comfortably the better side, a 1-0 lead looked precarious, and they almost lost it as Randolph parried a Morais shot just beyond the reach of Noone following in.

Traore, though, soon put the match beyond the reach of a Bolton side already looking like relegation candidates. His pace left former Boro defender Wheater trailing as he rolled across for Assombalonga to tap in a second.

There was even a debut goal for Marvin Johnson, the new signing from Oxford, who was allowed all the time he wanted to stride forward and hit a shot that squeezed past Ben Alnwick at his near post.

Alnwick should have saved that but, after Randolph had pushed out another Madine volley, Bolton’s former Sunderland goalkeeper redeemed himself by blocking Assombalonga with his foot after substitute Ashley Fletcher had played in the striker for a hat-trick chance.

It has been a long time since Boro’s fans left an away match so happy. Monk’s demeanour is more one of cautious optimism. “There’s still a lot of work to do, but the processes are in place,” he said. “If we can get the results as we go along while improving the things in the background, then that will be a real positive for this club.”