Neil Warnock says he will not worry about Britt Assombalonga’s future, after seeing the £15million forward net on his return to former club Nottingham Forest and help Middlesbrough to a 2-1 win.
The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season when he could in theory depart on a free transfer, four years after he swapped the City Ground for the north-east.
But Warnock is just happy to have the striker in his side and scoring, after seeing him net his fifth of the season to set Boro on their way to victory.
Assombalonga finished with composure in the 14th minute and George Saville hit Forest on the break five minutes after half time to make it 2-0.
Loic Mbe Soh reduced the deficit during an incident-packed injury time that saw Forest’s Yuri Ribeiro sent off after tussling with both Assombalonga and Saville.
“When Britt’s like that, he’s as good as anything,” said Warnock. “I just wish he’d do that every week.”
When asked about Assombalonga’s future, he said: “We don’t worry about that here, there are a lot of players out of contract. What will be, will be, we’ll worry about that when we have to.
“We were at it from the first minute, I knew we’d be all right. We never took our foot off the pedal, that’s lovely to see.
“We were sloppy on Saturday, but the only disappointment was not scoring more goals.
“Apart from their goal, I can’t think of a save our keeper had to make. I’d give Jonny Howson 11 out of 10 for his performance.”
Forest boss Chris Hughton admitted it had just been a bad night.
“It was a disappointing night, particularly on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run and a really good performance (against Millwall),” said Hughton.
“But we never really got going, we needed to impose ourselves more on them and we were not able to do that. If you cannot do that, you need to be resolute and solid at the back.
“We conceded two really poor goals. With the form we have been in and certainly the defensive form we have been in, it was not like us. That is probably the most disappointing aspect.
“I cannot say that we were the better side; I cannot say we deserved to get anything from the game. They play in a certain way. But they have quality in their side.”
Hughton also accepted the sending off of defender Ribeiro.
“My gut feeling is I have no complaints with the sending off. With where we are, we have to keep our discipline,” Hughton said.
“As for Yuri, when we were pushing to get back into the game and anything can happen, you can’t allow your frustrations to get the better of you.”