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Boro’s Bamford Bags Hat-Trick As Tony Pulis Moves His Team Into The Play-0ff Places

With snow hammering the Teeside area all week the big question was whether the Championship clash between Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough side and Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom’s new side would actually go ahead on Friday night.

The game was only able to be played because of the superb Boro ground-staff and the incredibly organised and generous band of volunteers who worked tirelessly all week long in an almost military style clear-up operation and Tony Pulis was genuinely very appreciative to everyone who did so much behind the scenes.

The massive amount of snow removal and salting done by the volunteers and Boro’s own staff meant that not only the Riverside pitch itself was playable but also that crucially the roads and transportation routes all around the Riverside were safe enough to handle the massive influx of fans into the area to attend the match.

With the game looking like it could be postponed all week long one man who will certainly be as happy as anyone that it went ahead was hat-trick hero Patrick Bamford who had been struggling to regain the form he showed in his first spell at the Riverside.

Boro boss Tony Pulis was at the Riverside on Thursday night to watch the huge snow removal operation commence, and was suitably impressed with both the organisation and the sheer hard work that went into making the game happen.

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When talking after the match Pulis did not hold back in his praise of all at Boro, he said:

“It was the best performance since I’ve been here,”

“That’s nine goals in three games now and we have played very well. But this win is about the whole club. People from the community and our staff turned up for two days to get the pitch and terraces cleared and get the game on.

“I popped down last night around a quarter to five, and the people from the community were working here to clear the snow from the terraces and get the snow off the pitch. It was everybody – ground-staff and people who have come in, Middlesbrough supporters.

“It’s been a really first-class performance from everybody, and I’m so pleased we’ve put a good performance in because of them, never mind anything else. The people in the community, the people who love this football club and have come out to get this game on, it’s been a real reward for them.

“It inspired me. This area is a can-do area, you ask people to do things and they do them. They do their best to do it. I’m just very pleased for all those people who were working for nothing, doing a lot of things that other people wouldn’t bother doing.”

On the pitch, Bamford’s first career hat-trick proved the difference, with the former Chelsea trainee moving his total to six goals in his last three matches as he more than justified Pulis’ call to utilise the youngster in his favoured role as a central striker.

Bamford broke the dead-lock when he finished Stewart Downing’s cross on the half hour mark, before doubling the score before half-time with his second as drove home a fierce shot after some excellent work from Adama Traore.

The former Chelsea youngster notched his side’s and his own well-deserved third goal with a simple tap-in with about 20 minutes left in the second half giving Boro a totally comprehensive win which they thoroughly deserved.

Boro now have moved ahead of Sheffield United into 6th and the last Championship play-off place on goal difference although the Blades in 7th do have a game in hand. Leeds United slip to 11th position and 6 points out of the play-offs.

Undoubtedly, Tony Pulis and the whole club at the Riverside will feel very pleased with the result they achieved tonight which was most deserved for all involved.