JONATHAN WOODGATE was delighted to see his Middlesbrough players end 2019 on a winning note as they claimed their first away win of the season courtesy of a superb success at West Brom.

Boro outplayed the erstwhile league leaders at the Hawthorns, with Daniel Ayala opening the scoring from a first-half corner.

The Teessiders sealed their success in sensational fashion in stoppage time, with Ashley Fletcher firing home a dipping half-volley from more than 40 yards.

Woodgate said: "Let's not get carried away. We're keeping our feet on the ground. We've got Preston on New Year's Day so that'll be a real test.

"It's a top result against a real top team who will probably go on to win promotion.

"We've changed shape regularly this season, but I felt it was important we dealt with (Matheus) Pereira. He's their best player by a mile, so I thought he had to nullify him by putting the two holding midfielders around him.

"We only had one day to work on this shape, really, but we showed them videos of exactly what we wanted. On the break we looked really really dangerous, and we nullified their threat.

"I don't think too many teams will come here this season and do that. We pressed them high up the pitch, we played two defensive midfielders to nullify Pereira.

"He's their best player, he's top drawer. The players gave me everything out there. We've drawn five games away from home, but we could've easily won three of them.

"We weren't coming into this game really struggling, we just needed that win. We knew it would come sooner or later."