TONY PULIS has revealed he did everything he could to keep Lewis Wing’s return to action a secret – and it worked as he helped Middlesbrough stay in the play-off mix by beating Reading.

Boro are still level on points with sixth-placed Derby County as they enter the final week of the season after successfully coming from behind to beat Reading 2-1 at the Riverside.

Derby, who beat Bristol City, will play their game in hand against Swansea City on Wednesday and then all eyes will be on the final day when Middlesbrough head to relegated Rotherham.

Middlesbrough will head there on the back of a win secured by Britt Assombalonga’s 39th minute penalty after Wing had levelled things up eight minutes earlier.

Wing’s goal cancelled out Danny Loader’s brilliant opener in the 11th minute and it was the perfect way for the midfielder to mark his return to action after recovering from hernia surgery.

Pulis said: “We can't do anything about Derby. They've got three points against Bristol, now they play Swansea, what we've done is kept the pressure on.

“If we hadn't have won that would have been it. We've won so there's pressure on them going into the next two games. Football is a funny old game.

“Reading scored a great goal, a great strike - to beat Darren Randolph from that distance. Darren is best keeper in the league so to beat him from that distance is top drawer.

“But the reaction was fantastic. At half-time we're coming in and I know we've scored two but you're wondering how we haven't scored three, four or five.

“I kept Wingy on, I should have brought him off. I apologised to him because he was tired, he was really sucking, but I wanted him to get that 90 minutes.

“I've tried to keep it as quiet as I could (that he would play). We could have got him involved a game earlier but I was concerned about him coming back and pulling a muscle or something. I always had this game in mind but I wanted to keep it as quiet as I could.”

Reading – who saw teenager Loader score his first senior goal - are mathematically safe following Rotherham’s defeat at West Brom, despite losing to Middlesbrough.

Jose Gomes said: “Finally we are mathematically in a safe position but we deserve it. It is a result of club work not a personal achievement, from the owner, chief executive, all the players, employees.

“It was very hard work but the players did what they should do and here we are preparing next season in the Championship now. We have already started that hard work and I am looking forward to next season already.

"We have already started working on next season a long time ago with some meetings with the scout and directors but now we can really put the focus on this issue.”