FOR George Saville, goals are a bit like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along more or less at once.

By his own post-match admission, Saville had been struggling to live up to his billing as a goal-scoring midfielder since arriving on Teesside in August 2018

The 27-year-old had notched just three times in almost 60 games since a deal with Millwall said to have cost Boro owner Steve Gibson an eye-watering £7m.

But the decisive strike at Bristol City was swiftly followed but what could and should have been the winner in Cardiff and shows that he is now back in the penalty box swing of things.

Saville attributed the re-discovery of his goal-scoring touch to the managerial nous of Boro boss Neil Warnock who, he says, has brought back the so-called feel-good factor back to the Riverside.

“There’s a really good buzz around the place because of his man-management skills,” Saville said.

“He’s got this way of being able to instil confidence into players and that gives you that feel-good feeling even before you’ve even touched the ball.

“You see that with a lot of lads and Anfernee Dijksteel has been superb under the manager.

“There’s a few of us who are growing in confidence and I’m one of them so I’m really enjoying my football.”

Saville is indeed testimony to Warnock’s managerial acumen because he was Boro’s best player in the Welsh capital.

“It’s not me complaining but I’ve played under various managers at left back, left wing back, left midfield and holding midfield,” said the former Chelsea player.

“I’ve been a little bit everywhere but now things are more settled, there’s more pattern to our play.

“That means I’ve got a bit of momentum and there’s more rhythm to my game again.

“That’s because the manager has shown good faith and all I want to do is repay him and get back to what I’m good at.”

He certainly did that when putting Boro ahead in the 36th minute with a fine flicked header, straining every sinew in his body to connect with Marcus Tavernier’s in-swinging corner.

“We know Kieffer Moore is a good header of the ball so the plan was to stand in front of him and annoy him to give some of our lads a chance to run at it.

“But I could see Tav’s corner coming, I just flicked it goalwards and it was nice to see it hit the back of the net.”

As well as scoring, Saville impressed in the midfield trenches, prompting Boro’s best moves with assurance as the visitors pressed for a second goal.

It was just a shame from personal and Boro perspectives that he was the victim of a basketball-style block from striker Kieffer Moore that saw Sheyi Ojo poke home a 70th minute equaliser.

Warnock condemned the goal as a “disgrace” because he felt Saville had been fouled but in truth it was one of those tactics right out of the 71-year-old’s playbook.

Like the incessant rain, it took the shine off Warnock’s first return to the Cardiff City Stadium since he quit the manager’s post 11 months ago

It also prompted what Saville described as an “onslaught” but he dropped back to give Jonny Howson a hand in protecting the point, limiting the hosts to half-chances.

His work-rate not only ensured honours were even but also meant that Boro have now gone six Championship games unbeaten since their opening day defeat at Watford.

Saville was far from downhearted as he set his sights on this week’s visits of Coventry and Nottingham Forest who are both struggling for points this season.

“It was disappointing not to leave with all three points but Cardiff are a tough team,” Saville added.

“I’d say it’s a good point that maintains our momentum after what has been a difficult week.

“We’ve played three good teams including the two top two sides (Reading and Bristol City) now we can look forward to Coventry on Tuesday.”

With the race for the Premier League looking to be wide open this season; the play-off places are in touching distance for Boro.

Saville is certainly bullish about Boro’s prospects for the current campaign.

“The boys know their jobs and it’s a season where we can look forward to the rest of the season with optimism although we won’t get carried away,” Saville added.

“We’ve got a very good structure and we’re difficult to beat, if we can build on that and keep progressing, maybe doing a bit more going forward, we can have a good season.

“For me, it’s a really nice feeling, scoring goals and helping the team get positive results so personally I’m delighted with the way things are going.”