Head coach Martin Paterson praised Burton’s character after a 2-1 victory against Stevenage moved his team three points clear of the League One relegation zone.

Mark Helm and Tom Hamer scored either side of the break while Stevenage were forced to play with 10 men for 30 minutes after Dan Butler lashed out at Helm.

Kane Hemmings scored with two minutes left but ultimately the Brewers managed to put an end to their 10-game winless run and gain a slight advantage over 21st-placed Port Vale with a valiant victory.

Paterson said: “I am so pleased with the group because of the effort. It took humility and hard work and when the chances came from the back of that framework the freedom came.

“We have got character and we have been pushing really hard for a performance like that. We have been through a bit of a dip and we always knew we had the character to get out of that.

“There have been so many opportunities and heartbreaks along this road in terms of games but most importantly now we have put a small marker down is the players recover and live right.

“As a group we have been working on a lot of things to promote things in terms of confidence and awareness of taking a little bit more time.

“But that is what happens when you are in there and you are fighting every week for status. I don’t necessarily care about the name on the back, it is about working as a collective and we have to be unified now.”

As much as it was a galvanising victory for Burton, for Stevenage they have now seen any chance of promotion almost slip from their grasp as they sit six points away from the play-off spots with two games left.

Manager Steve Evans said: “It has been an incredible effort and we have come up a bit short over the season but we will try to go to Oxford and be competitive.

“I think a lot of people would take fifth from bottom, where the likes of Burton are, but it has been an incredible amount of hard work.

“I can only applaud them, I can’t do that today because we lacked a lot. But I am not a manager to throw them in the river because there has been some really bright days.

“We are asking a lot of the players to play at the highest they have played and there hasn’t been a game since I have been here that has not had something resting on it, including today.

“We have gone to the well but found it a bit dry over the past few weeks.”

Derek McInnes was thrilled after his Kilmarnock side edged closer to securing European football with a confident victory over St Johnstone.

Killie deservedly took the lead midway through the first half when Joe Wright turned home Liam Polworth’s pin-point delivery – and the visitors were denied on multiple occasions to extend their advantage by the heroics of Dimitar Mitov.

The game was settled with nine minutes remaining after Marley Watkins tapped home his 13th goal of the season.

Kilmarnock have extended their advantage in fourth place to eight points, with just five games remaining.

“I thought first half we were very good,” McInnes said.

“Coming away from home, we tried to impose ourselves. We spoke throughout the week about the importance of matching their motivation.

“We knew we were up against a team with so much riding on the game, we had to match that and a bit more.

“I was bemoaning the fact we didn’t get that second goal, which we maybe merited for our first half dominance as an away team – to have that control was really pleasing.

“We never got started in first 20 minutes of the second half but thankfully we got the second.

“It’s not easy winning games in this league, especially away from home – we did a lot right and credit to our players.”

Despite moving one step closer to returning to Europe for the first time since 2019, the Rugby Park boss insists there is still work to do.

Kilmarnock have lost just one of their 11 Premiership encounters since returning from the winter break in January.

He added: “There’s still work to be done and hopefully a few more special days to have.”

Craig Levein felt his team failed to hit the heights of recent performance during a lacklustre showing.

Saints were unable to build on their excellent victory against Hibernian at Easter Road as they slumped to defeat at McDiarmid Park.

St Johnstone remain 10th in the table and look set for a battle to avoid the play-off position in their post-split fixtures.

“The rollercoaster is back in operation. It was a hell of a frustrating afternoon,” Levein said.

“After the last two games I’ve been talking fairly confidently about continuing at that level.

“We didn’t play with the confidence I thought we should’ve done because of our previous performances.

“Individually we didn’t have that many players who played anywhere near their best.

“Kilmarnock didn’t batter us by any stretch of the imagination and we had some good chances.”

Brendan Rodgers feels Celtic are coming alive at the right time after an impressive second-half display against St Mirren gave them a 3-0 win which sends them four points clear in the cinch Premiership.

The champions struggled to create chances in a ponderous first-half display which saw St Mirren create the better openings.

But Celtic upped their intensity at the start of the second half and Reo Hatate produced a classy finish with the outside of his boot in the 52nd minute.

Kyogo Furuhashi and substitute Adam Idah both headed home to complete a 3-0 victory which keeps the destiny of the title in their hands as well as Rangers, who are due to play twice before the split.

Rodgers, whose team face Aberdeen in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-finals next weekend, said: “I really look forward to this period, this is when Celtic comes alive. Five games to go, trophies at stake, Scottish Cup at stake, so bring it on.”

Rodgers, whose side led for the vast majority of last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Rangers, added: “We’re in a really good position and when you know that everything is with you – and you decide what your destiny is.

“That’s why the result at Ibrox was huge for us, as well as the performance. We played really well last week and when we had to bite down on the gum-shield, we were tough and (have) seen it through in a difficult environment.

“That bodes well for us. We know we can play football, play with speed, and we can score goals. We’ve also shown a steeliness which will be important in the run-in.”

Although Celtic have lost Daizen Maeda to a hamstring problem, the return to fitness of Hatate and Callum McGregor has been a major boost.

On Hatate, Rodgers said: “We are trying to build him up and he was outstanding at Ibrox. When he went off, we lost a wee bit in midfield.

“But he’s had a really good week’s training and he got his goal, which will be great for his confidence. He’s a huge player for us.

“Reo had come back a few times and broke down while away with the Japanese squad. He was devastated at that.

“We have to be careful with all the players. We have to manage him and Callum, who was more like himself and had a fantastic cameo .

“But with Reo, or any top player, you try to have the right plan for him which allows him to peak at the right time.”

On Maeda, Rodgers said: “I’m not sure Daizen will feature too much, it’s such a small window now. I’m not sure if he will feature before the end of the season.”

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson bemoaned the injuries which disrupted his side’s positive first-half display. Elvis Bwomono went off following a head knock midway through the opening half and others would soon follow.

“We were excellent for 45 minutes and then we can get undone by two excellent goals,” Robinson said.

“Kyogo’s movement for the second goal was fantastic and the delivery as well. And the first goal was a super finish. That’s the difference in levels. The first one wasn’t a clear opportunity but they made the best of it.

“The two injuries before and at half-time stopped a bit of our momentum. It takes players time to get into the rhythm and the shape. Scott Tanser and Elvis going off seemed to stop our rhythm and then Greg Kiltie and Richard Taylor have to come off too.

“We maybe had five enforced changes that we didn’t want to have to make. Sometimes Lady Luck isn’t shining on you.

“Credit to Celtic for the quality they showed when they needed to. That’s the difference in levels.”

Southampton boss Russell Martin was left frustrated about his side’s “nonsense” performance despite a dramatic last-gasp 3-2 victory over Watford.

Leicester and Leeds lost this weekend, while Ipswich dropped points to give Saints renewed hope of an automatic promotion spot and an immediate return to the Premier League.

They needed a stoppage-time winner from Flynn Downes to beat the Hornets after throwing away a two-goal lead.

And Martin said: “It’s a good day for us in the end with the results elsewhere as well, but we can only focus on ourselves and I’m pleased we got over the line.

“I’m frustrated with how long it took and what it took, but I’m really pleased we won. We played some brilliant football with plenty of running and energy.

“The feeling at the end is amazing, but it just shouldn’t be that. Watford were good, and they’re playing with freedom and they’re running so hard for Tom.

“We have five games now where we just can’t afford to play like that. Unfortunately for us, we’re not in the top two and having a nice time. We’re fighting and chasing for everything we have.

“I’m frustrated about some of it but really pleased with some of it. I’m delighted with the character and the grit and the willingness to win.

“You can’t concede two goals again at home after being two up – we have to stop that nonsense.

“I’ve never stopped believing in the group of players that we have. I think they’ve shown they believe so much in what they’re doing with the late winner today and the fight.”

Saints were in cruise control after Will Smallbone had headed in their fastest goal of the season after 57 seconds and Che Adams had doubled the lead by tapping in David Brooks’ cross.

Ryan Porteous pulled one back for the Hornets before the break before they thought they had earned a fifth straight draw when Ismael Kone coolly slotted in an 85th-minute equaliser.

But West Ham loanee Downes bundled in at the back post with the last kick of the game to send St Mary’s into chaos.

Watford interim boss Tom Cleverley said: “The red card incident on Porteous, genuine mistake. The handball, his line of sight might have been obscured, genuine mistake.

“The fact that the corner gets delivered after the 98th minute after seven added on is a worry.

“For me, our season is sort of mid-table and it’s not affected the way our campaign ends so much, but when there’s hundreds of millions of pounds on the line for Leeds, Ipswich and Leicester.

“I think they could be arguing that the top referees should be in charge of these games for when the stakes are so big.

“I will never, ever have a go for genuine mistakes. I’m disappointed the corner was taken. There was no subs, no goals in injury time.

“It’s a really difficult one to take. But for the first time we’ve been behind in my stint as manager and we showed real character to come back.

“It feels a really, really bitter pill to swallow that we’ve come out with no points. We’re feeling really hard done by now.”

Nuno Espirito Santo felt his Nottingham Forest side missed an opportunity to give themselves breathing space in the Premier League relegation fight after they drew 2-2 against Wolves.

After Matheus Cunha’s fine individual strike put the visitors ahead, goals from Morgan Gibbs-White and Danilo either side of half-time gave Forest the advantage.

But Cunha’s second of the match denied Forest the victory as they moved one point clear of Luton, who were beaten heavily at Manchester City.

With home games against City and Chelsea remaining, Forest’s survival fate could well be decided by away matches at Everton, Sheffield United and Burnley.

Though they are hoping to recoup some of the four points they were docked by the Premier League for breaking financial rules, with an appeal date still to be set.

Former Wolves boss Nuno said: “We are in a fight. It’s going to be a tough one but we’ll give it our all.

“I think it’s a wasted opportunity. I think we did enough. It is disappointing with the way we conceded but offensively we were the better team. We were dominant and had chances.

“It’s very frustrating, not only for me but for all of us – the players and the fans. It’s very frustrating. Beside the need we had, we were better so it’s a missed opportunity. We are all sad and disappointed.”

Cunha’s second goal was the 22nd time Forest have conceded from a set-piece this season and this was one of the most costly.

“Even the first goal, we allowed Wolves individual actions and too many situations,” Nuno said.

“If there’s one player in the box, we allowed them to turn – too soft. The second one is bad defending.”

Wolves, who are playing with a sizeable injury list, look set for a mid-table finish as European qualification now looks out of reach with no wins in the last four.

But boss Gary O’Neil is proud of his side after having only 12 senior outfield players to pick from.

“We are getting a bit closer, we have got people coming back but still a very tough puzzle to put together at the moment, for me and the guys,” he said.

“There is a lot going on at the moment to get through games, they deserve huge credit because it is tough getting points away from home in the Premier League when you are at full strength, so to come here with what we have available to us at the moment is a real positive result and a positive performance because they showed a lot of quality and some real grit and determination.

“Good players make a massive difference. We came here today and I had to pick the 10 outfield players from 12.

“It’s the toughest spell I have had as a manager or a player, I don’t think there will be many teams choosing 10 outfield players from 12 players.

“But there is no excuses or moaning, there is just a real sense of pride. We took three points off Fulham, a point away at Burnley and Nottingham Forest with basically 12 senior players in every one of those. Credit to the group.”

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield was full of praise for Luke Leahy after his side returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at Shrewsbury.

The hosts went down to 10 men with just over 20 minutes remaining when Tom Flanagan made a dangerous challenge on Joe Low.

The Chairboys found the breakthrough through ex-Salopian captain Leahy in the 83rd minute after he stroked home a superbly-worked free-kick from the edge of the box.

Wycombe doubled their advantage in stoppage time after Garath McCleary teed up Richard Kone to tap home and leave Shrewsbury six points above the bottom four.

Bloomfield said: “It was a fairly scrappy game, the pitch was playing quite slow and it has been a long and emotional week for us.

“The sending-off happened and sparked the game into life a little bit.

“I thought we took the two goals extremely well and it’s very fitting for Luke – it was always going to happen.

“We made him captain today because he puts so much into our football club in terms of his performances and his personality and character.

“It was his 500th appearance on Wednesday evening and today it just felt right he led us out and he scored a goal as well. I know how fondly he remembers his time at Shrewsbury.

“Kone has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He hasn’t done that recently as much as I would of liked.

“It was a huge step up in terms of level and his performances have been very good.”

Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst was left annoyed by his side’s performance.

He said: “I can see and hear the fans’ anger a little bit in the game but at the end of the game I can’t stand here and say I don’t agree with them.

“It is hard to put into words in truth what we have witnessed. As the game goes on, it was a nothing performance and I am not going to stand here and defend it or lie about it.

“People that were here have certainly seen what they witnessed and it was a performance far from good enough.

“It is a silly and ridiculous challenge and it’s a sending-off.

“The only bit I can say, and it still doesn’t defend it in the slightest and I am really not tempting to, is these sort of situations can occur when free-kicks are not given.

“That one (Leahy goal) which I thought was the important one again, we don’t seem to be getting the rub of the green with any referring decisions.”

Derby head coach Paul Warne is taking nothing for granted despite another shift in his team’s favour in the race for automatic promotion.

A 3-0 home win over Leyton Orient coupled with Bolton’s draw with Portsmouth means the Rams have a four-point lead in second place, although the Lancashire club have a game in hand.

It was vital Derby took maximum points and in front of another 30,000-plus crowd they went ahead in the 10th minute when Kane Wilson pounced at the back post from a Nathaniel Mendez-Laing corner.

Another set-piece led to the second in the 18th minute, with Sonny Bradley volleying in a Louie Sibley corner from close range.

Orient were more of a threat in the second half but the best chances fell to Derby, with Mendez-Laing failing to convert in the 61st minute after racing clear.

Sibley also went close on two occasions before Bradley sealed a convincing victory with a back-post header from another corner.

Warne said: “The lads have done well, scored from three set-pieces and we probably could have scored from open play but it’s just about winning, so I’m happy.

“It’s been a good day but all it does is give us another opportunity. With two games left it’s in our hands again but we’ve got to try and back it up with two more wins to give us a real chance to go up.

“Obviously now it gives us a much better chance, but that’s all it is so we haven’t achieved anything, but it did feel like a good day. The lads performed well. I don’t think Joe (Wildsmith) had a shot (to save).

“Some days it’s difficult to score goals. Today I watched Leeds play, they couldn’t score, last night I watched Leicester and they couldn’t score. When you are at the top of the table it’s difficult to get over the line.”

Leyton Orient head coach Richie Wellens said: “They ran all over us. They are a good team with loads of experience and they just overpowered us.

“The players have been unbelievable this year but they are probably on their last legs and we are asking too much of them with what we’ve got available. We just ran out of steam a little bit.

“The big one was the set plays. We started the game okay but after the set plays in a quick space of time it becomes very difficult.

“I think it’s something we need to improve on next year. We’ve done well but I think with set plays in this division if you can score a lot more than you concede you can get an extra 12 points.”

Manager Marti Cifuentes called for cool heads after QPR suffered a damaging 3-0 defeat at Hull.

Rangers are three points clear of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone and were outclassed by the Tigers, who still have a slim chance of making the play-offs.

Goals from Ozan Tufan and Fabio Carvalho earned Hull a deserved lead at the break, after which Jaden Philogene added gloss to the scoreline in the second half.

Cifuentes said: “I was really disappointed with the result. We played against a very good team and they showed their quality after we made a good start to the game.

“I am now not thinking about the narrative of this game – now it is time to move on.

“Now is the time to stay calm. We have three games to go – two of them at home – so it is up to us.

“I have been saying it (safety) could be (decided) until the last minute of the season.

“Five months ago, perhaps even one month ago, we could only dream (to be 19th in the table).

“People thought this would be a walk in the park but that is not the case.

“It’s up to us. We need to remain together and keep pushing.”

QPR’s away form has been strong since Cifuentes arrived at the club, but they were unable to match Hull’s tempo from the outset.

Tufan’s brilliant strike from distance after eight minutes set the tone of a one-sided game.

The Turkey international’s smart assist after then allowed Carvalho the chance to convert a smart one-on-one – and essentially put the game out of sight after 27 minutes.

Rangers improved marginally after the restart but they could never lay a glove on the hosts and conceded a third when Philogene executed a perfect half-volley from the left of the penalty area.

Cifuentes said: “The main difference was that, in some moments, they were better than us in front of goal.

“We have three games to go, and we have to keep working.

“Despite creating a lot of chances, we are not scoring and, instead, we are getting punished because of small mistakes.

“The guys have showed a big development in the last four months.

“I see a team still competing and not giving up, even when we were 3-0 down.

“We now have an important game against Preston next Saturday and it is time to move on.”

Hull’s home form has been the big issue this season – they have won just eight times at the MKM Stadium – but they are six points adrift of sixth-placed Norwich with a game in hand.

Head coach Liam Rosenior said: “Our performance level was not dissimilar to Middlesbrough (a 1-1 draw on Wednesday).

“But the difference was in both boxes. We were clinical and ruthless and the players showed their quality.

“We dominated the game, controlled the game – some of our football was excellent.

“That’s what I’ve been working so hard to do since I re-joined the cub.

“We were very, very good. If we play at the level for the next four games we are going to be a very, very difficult side to play against.”

Rosenior added: “Some of our interlinking play now is a joy to watch.

“The players I have in the attacking positions are in form and that needs to continue.

“There are still things to iron out – we still need things to improve – but we’ve got to win the next game.

“That’s all we are focussed on doing. We’re in a good place. We have to focus on what we can do.

“We just need to make sure that if there are any slip-ups, we are there to pounce.”

Charlie Adam praised Fleetwood’s “complete” performance as they claimed a 2-0 win at home to Northampton.

The victory – only a second in their last 13 games – keeps the Cod Army’s Sky Bet League One survival hopes just about alive, though they remain six points adrift of the safety zone with just three games left to play.

Boss Adam was clearly proud of what he also described as the best he had seen from his team since replacing Lee Johnson at the turn of the year.

“It was a complete performance from us today so I have to be delighted with that,” Adam said. “Right from the start of the game we were at it.

“We maintained a good shape throughout and we were well organised against a good Northampton team.

“Maybe two goals wasn’t enough – I definitely think we should have had more as we were so dominant.

“I’m just happy to take the three points.

“I always felt in control after the first 30 minutes when we just blew them away.

“This leaves us with three games now, and we need more clean sheets like this if we’re to have a chance of staying up.

“We can celebrate a brilliant win tonight but then straight away we have to re-focus on another huge game on Tuesday night.

“We’ve got to go to one of the best teams and toughest grounds in the league in Peterborough, but we have to go there with confidence now.”

Fleetwood were in control at half-time thanks to goals from Promise Omochere and Bosun Lawal.

Cobblers manager Jon Brady made a triple change at the interval and his side improved after the restart.

Ben Fox and Marc Leonard created decent opportunities but they rarely threatened a consolation goal.

Brady was disappointed with the outcome, and said: “I’ve already told the players that I’m not prepared to let the season just fade away because of the position we’re in.

“But fair play to Fleetwood today. They came out with all guns blazing and in the bad conditions here, we found it difficult to get out.

“I think it’s fair to say they out-fought us in the opening 20 or 30 minutes and they have got some really good players, despite their position in the table.

“We’ve conceded two poor goals, though. They came about due to our own doing, it was sloppy from us.

“It was quite difficult and they played the conditions well – we didn’t.

“It was as simple as that really. We overplayed things too much and with them getting the two goals quite early, we faced an uphill battle.

“We just didn’t do the basics right far too often. We didn’t get the ball forward quick enough or often enough.”

Barnsley head coach Neill Collins praised the resilience of his side as they came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Reading.

Sam Smith and Lewis Wing netted for the visitors, with Adam Phillips and Fabio Jalo providing equalisers.

Collins said: “Ultimately, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game. But equally, we didn’t give ourselves enough of a chance with some of the mistakes we made.

“I thought the players’ effort, attitude, resilience was fantastic and they gave everything right to the last minute.

“I think in the last 10-15 minutes we were the team that looked most like winning.”

On his side’s start to the game, Collins said: “I think we started the game really well. We created opportunities, but then a little bit of nervousness crept in. There were moments in the first half that were poor.

“But there was equally good play at the other end. There were aspects of it I was disappointed with, but it wasn’t a really poor first-half performance.

“It was just moments where poor decision-making and poor execution led to chances.

“We caused them equal amount of problems going the other way and it was just one of those games in terms of the open nature of it.”

On his side coming back from behind twice, Collins said: “To score quick helped us a lot. I think it got the stadium up and then Fabio (Jalo) nearly just took the roof off two minutes later with his shot that blasted off the post.”

Reading head coach Ruben felt his side should have won. He said: “I don’t consider it a very good point. I think we deserved the three points.

“I think we had chances to go and win the game. We didn’t take our chances to do it and in the end, we suffer a little bit.

“I don’t like the point; I prefer to take three. I think we deserve more.

“I think it’s a signal of where we are moving and how we are moving as a team. We can come here, we can compete, we can use our principles and now we need to make one more step and finish the chances when we have them.

“Today I think we should make it and get at least one more goal. I want to believe it’s part of the process.

“There’s still a couple of games to go and we need to continue growing.”

On the amount of chances his side were creating, Selles said: “I’m pleased with the way that we play, the personality we have.

“We have ambitions to be better and the team needs to be better and I need to push them to the limits. I think we are still in process.”

Hearts manager Steven Naismith admitted he always expected his team to respond after coming from two goals down to beat Livingston 4-2.

The hosts were punished for a slow start after going two down inside 22 minutes following a Stephen Kelly brace.

But Hearts fought back in emphatic fashion after scoring through Jorge Grant, Yutaro Oda, Cammy Devlin and Lawrence Shankland before the break.

The win kept Hearts 11 points clear in third place in the cinch Premiership and confirmed European football for next season, with the Jambos now guaranteed at least a top-four finish.

Naismith insists he was not surprised by the manner of his side’s comeback.

He said: “We didn’t come out the changing room for the first 10-15 minutes. It was a poor start, really poor, really sloppy, and then brilliant.

“We lost two goals but it’s the third time we have come back. When the second goal goes in there’s a frustration from me and the fans.

“I knew when we were 2-0 down we’d come back into the game because we have shown it before. The element of having a ruthless streak and being more clinical is something we have talked about.

“And that part I am really happy with because our speed of attack, our bodies in the box, that’s what gets us back in the game. There were some really good goals.”

Naismith handed Craig Gordon his first league start since Christmas Eve 2022 ahead of the goalkeeper playing in next Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

He added: “He’s been playing in the cup and I thought it was a good opportunity to get him a game before the semi-final. That was the decision.”

Livingston remain nine points adrift at the bottom ahead of the final five post-split matches and manager David Martindale insists the way the match unfolded summed up their season.

He said: “I think what you saw there in the first half was the story of our season played out in 45 minutes.

“We started the game really well and should have scored a third when Tete (Yengi) was clean through against Craig Gordon. That was an unbelievable chance.

“Stephen came up with two good goals. To give Hearts their due, they scored two decent goals but we gifted them the goals.”

Asked why Tete Yengi received a second yellow card just seconds after being substituted, Martindale added: “The kid comes off the park frustrated, he’s kicked one of our bottles. He’s kicked it into our dugout.

“I’m not saying what he’s done is right but I think you need to give him some leeway. I just think there has to be a bit of common sense applied.”

Garry Monk praised his Cambridge side’s fighting spirit after they hit back to draw 1-1 with Charlton.

The U’s were outplayed in the first half, trailing to Connor Wickham’s goal at the break, but produced a rousing display after the interval to earn a draw.

Macauley Bonne’s goal against his former employer helped lift Cambridge to 18th in League One, six points clear of the relegation zone.

“I think the biggest compliment I can pay the players is four or five weeks ago, a goal like that in the first half, maybe mentally we would have suffered and not come back from it, but I think you can see the difference in mentality now,” Monk said afterwards. “The last four games, the mentality is there to fight.

“I think it was probably a fair result in the end, and it’s another point on our tally. Every point’s crucial.

“It was a great strike and I thought it was deserved. I thought we had a lot of pressure in their half, in and around their box.

“In the second half I thought we came out on top for the large period of that in terms of both boxes, winning those battles.

“I’m really pleased with the players, over these last four games especially. I just think the attitude and the level of performance has definitely risen.

“I think you could see the level of determination and attitude and desire to try and win and do the right things. We have to make sure we keep hold of that.”

Nathan Jones rued his Charlton side’s continued failure to finish games off as they missed opportunities before Cambridge hit back.

“I’m frustrated,” Jones said. “There are positives; we created enough chances to have won the game. It’s another point, it’s another game unbeaten. It’s away from home, the conditions are brutal and we haven’t been done.

“There’s a pleasing element to it but when I’m looking at how I want us to evolve, how I want us to move forward, we have to do better. We have to be more clinical in their box and score good chances when we got them. That’s happened on a number of occasions now.

“We’ve got to defend our box better because it’s a poor goal to give away, from every single aspect.

“We’ve got some decisions in the summer and we’ll have to make those decisions so that we’re nowhere near where we are now next year. I know where we want to go and what we want to achieve, but don’t take anything away.

“Since I’ve come in the players have been brilliant. They’ve driven each other, they’ve grafted and they’ve given me absolutely everything.”

Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna was “proud” of his team’s performance in the thrilling 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough which put them one point clear at the top of the Championship.

Town went into the game looking to take advantage after seeing automatic promotion rivals Leicester and Leeds lose to Plymouth and Blackburn respectively.

Boro took the lead after 20 minutes through a header from Emmanuel Latte Lath but Town struck back 10 minutes later when Massimo Luongo crashed home a corner by Leif Davis.

Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky produced two wonderful saves, firstly from Isaiah Jones and then Matt Clarke, to keep the scores level.

McKenna said: “Frustration isn’t my feeling at the moment. Maybe it will be tomorrow but at the moment it’s pride around the performance.

“I thought it was a brilliant game, I thought the performance was excellent against a good side and I was really proud of how we went about our business really.

“I thought we played brilliant, we played confident, tactically it was a really good battle, we created plenty of chances to win the game and I thought it was a really good performance.

“Over the course of the last two games could we have had an couple of extra points, for sure we could we have lost today, Vaz (Hladky) produces a great save at the end.

“The players have given everything and what’s more pleasing for me is the performance and at the end of the season we will get as many points that we get, I don’t think they are going to leave an ounce of effort out there.

“I really liked the way we went about our business and at the end of the day we pick up a point from a really good performance and we have a little bit of recovery now and look forward to last week and three great games.”

Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick was happy with a share of the spoils in the end.

He said: “It’s a tough place to come and you can see they’re a really good team, confidence is high and they’re in a really good place.

“Their record here is really good so it was always going to be challenging to come here, which makes it probably a decent point in isolation.

“But, for us, we came here to win and we wanted to win, so it’s a bit of mixed feelings really overall.

“We know what we needed [as far as play-off hopes were concerned]. It doesn’t change what we do for the next game, though.

“We want to finish the season strongly and continue to do the right things. We’re on a decent run at the moment and we want to try and keep building on that. The aim is to just try and keep winning football matches really.

“There are a lot of good things again. There are things we need to improve upon and be better at but there are some good things that we can take from it.

“We’ve been doing that for a number of games now which is pleasing. But we still want to be coming to places like this and winning. We tried to but we just didn’t quite pull it off.”

Oxford United boss Des Buckingham described his team’s 5-0 win over play-off rivals Peterborough as “without doubt the most enjoyable experience of my time here”.

Ruben Rodrigues scored twice with the other goals from a Mark Harris penalty, Josh Murphy and substitute Billy Bodin.

It took Oxford’s tally to 13 goals without reply in their last three games and puts them five points clear of Lincoln, who visit the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night.

Murphy was the star of the show, destroying Posh in the first half, while Owen Dale and Greg Leigh also hit the post.

Buckingham, who spent many years as a youth team coach at Oxford before returning from India to manage them, said: “It’s without doubt the most enjoyable experience of my time here.

“It was very exciting. And the way the players bounced off the fans, and the fans bounced off the players, was fantastic.

“That’s certainly the best football we’ve played since I’ve been here.

“There is a real clear understanding about the way we want to play and there is a real clear understanding about what we want to do.

“The players were excellent right across the pitch considering that we lost Cameron Brannagan and Elliott Moore to fitness decisions late on Friday.

“Today the players carried out exactly what we wanted them to do almost exactly to the letter.

“It’s been a really good couple of weeks. But we’re not naive enough to think we’re in the play-offs already.

“We need to recover well and prepare well enough to put on a performance like that against Lincoln on Tuesday.”

Peterborough’s defeat is a massive blow to their hopes of claiming one of the automatic promotion places.

Posh boss Darren Ferguson said: “I must admit I didn’t see that coming.

“We were absolutely outclassed in every single department.

“We started strongly and confidently, then gifted them two goals.

“I was hoping then that if we could get to half-time and it’s only two, we could do things to change it. But then they got a third.

“Sometimes, though, you have to give credit to the opposition, they were outstanding. Quite honestly, it could have been 10. We got away with it being only 5-0.

“We didn’t have the quality in any department. All the quality on the pitch came from Oxford.

“The manner of the defeat was very, very disappointing. No excuses from us but I cannot accept that.

“The players have got to react quickly and now make sure we get in the play-offs because we’re not they’re yet. And I’ve got some difficult decisions to make now for the next game.”

Tony Docherty emphasised his pride in his Dundee players after seeing his side clinch their spot in the cinch Premiership top six after a trying week.

The Dark Blues weathered an early Aberdeen storm but grew into the game and dominated proceedings, although only Lyall Cameron’s 70th-minute effort, which was blocked by Angus MacDonald, really threatened the home goal.

The hosts had a late flurry before captain Graeme Shinnie saw red deep into injury time for a second bookable offence.

Docherty, whose side’s game against Rangers was called off in mid-week due to a waterlogged pitch, said: “There’s an enormous sense of satisfaction and pride in the players. They deserve all the credit for everything they’ve done.

“There are certain seasons a team can get to a cup final by winning four or five games, but to do it over the course of a season, from being the newly-promoted team. It’s the youngest group in the league and it’s huge testament to them.”

Dundee’s top-six spot was confirmed thanks to Motherwell’s late equaliser against Hibernian.

“Our kitman was keeping in touch with the Hibs game, but the supporters got there before him,” added Docherty.

“It was a day where we had to adapt. We threw on strikers and then the goal (for Motherwell) comes so we throw on defenders.

“Today was a fantastic, gritty performance, but we’ve earned it over the course of the campaign. It’s testament to the players and I’m so pleased for them.”

Aberdeen caretaker Peter Leven felt his side had to score when they were in the ascendancy in the first half.

He said: “I thought we were really good first half, but I turned to the bench and said we need to score when we’re on top.

“We caused Dundee problems and they had to change their shape, then they changed personnel, but we really had to get that goal.

“We lacked a bit of cutting edge. We generally played well in our tempo and intensity, but in front of goal we’re a wee bit shy.

“I’ve not seen the red card as yet. I didn’t even know if it was for a second yellow, but I’ll need to watch it back.”

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