CHRIS WILDER has been impressed by the level of leadership in the Middlesbrough dressing room – and feels the club’s youngsters could not wish for a better group of role models as they look to further their careers.

Having taken over on Teesside at the start of last month, Wilder presided over his first win as Boro boss as his side claimed a deserved 2-1 victory at Huddersfield last weekend.

While the former Sheffield United boss has made a number of tweaks since replacing Neil Warnock, he has largely stuck with the same core group of experienced players that were influential under his predecessor.

As well as starting with the likes of Jonny Howson and Paddy McNair, Wilder has also kept faith with Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier, players who arrived as free agents under Warnock and who might have been seen as ‘favourites’ of the former boss. Peltier was playing as part of Boro’s back three before sustaining a hamstring injury that will sideline him for another two or three weeks.

Wilder has been pleased with his experienced players’ performances on the pitch, and has also been delighted with their wider impact on the dressing room.

“If Nathan Wood is starting out and he’s looking at Jonny Howson’s career, Jonny has played in the Premier League, he’s played the majority of his career either in the Premier League or Championship, a fabulous career,” said the Boro boss. “But he’s still got that desire and hunger to go at his age. Jonny’s been outstanding.

“I think Lee Peltier and Sol Bamba have been great examples, they do the right things, they train well but they train with a desire and an intensity in the sessions. For me, that automatically rolls into matchdays, so I’ve been really impressed with those two guys.”

Wilder feels his work on the training ground is gradually having an impact, with last weekend’s display at the John Smith’s Stadium representing a significant forward step. Boro will attempt to generate some more positive momentum when they host Swansea City this weekend.

“Everybody has taken on board what we’ve tried to do, and hopefully they’ve enjoyed it,” said Wilder. “Although, I’ve got to say, I’m not that bothered if they haven’t enjoyed it.

“There’s been lots of smiles on the faces though, and we want this to be a good place to come and work. I want them to enjoy their work.

“When you get players with the attitude of wanting to come into work, improve their game and enjoy the sessions we’ve put on, you get a better standard out of them overall. Hopefully, we can do that with the players we’ve got.”