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Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren praised Mark Schwarzer for recovering from a bad error to help earn victory over Bolton in the Carling Cup final.

“The game hinged on Mark making that mistake but he then made three fantastic saves,” McClaren said after the 2-1 win.

“I was still getting changed when we went 1-0 up.

“It was a fantastic game, congratulations to Bolton but I thought over 90 minutes we deserved it.”

Middlesbrough scored two goals in the opening seven minutes but a Schwarzer blunder allowed Bolton back into the game.

However, the Australian keeper made amends to deny Youri Djorkaeff and Per Frandsen.

McClaren also praised his defence for holding out.

“It is always difficult the way we defend, we gifted them a goal but defended magnificently,” he added.

“Two goals in the first 10 minutes was a lot for us to hold on to. We had chances on the break.

“The players have been fantastic and it’s great reward for them, the fans and the chairman Steve Gibson who has put so much into this club.

“It’s a tremendous feeling. We can’t think of Europe, we must compose ourselves and enjoy the occasion.

“But we’ve got a game on Wednesday against Birmingham so we can’t think of Europe yet.”

Skipper Gareth Southgate dedicated the victory to the club’s fans and Gibson after Boro ended their long search for silverware.

“After more than 100 years of waiting we’ve done it for them,” he said.

“And Steve Gibson is the biggest fan we’ve got – Middlesbrough wouldn’t be here without him.

“It was ‘pinch yourself’ time when we went two goals up early on – but then Bolton threw everything at us.”

“It’s a great moment for us – we’ve all worked really hard to get here and we’ve really enjoyed the day,” he added.

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