Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock says his side would have beaten Derby County had Colin Kazim-Richards played for the Teesside club, the BBC report.
The Rams grabbed a much-needed three points against Boro with a 2-1 win.
Lee Gregory opened the scoring for Derby then turned provider as Kazim-Richards fired in an unstoppable 25-yard drive before Boro’s Neeskens Kebano pulled one back.
Gregory couldn’t have asked for a better full debut for Derby following his deadline day move from Championship rivals Stoke City on loan until the end of the season.
But it was his strike partner Kazim-Richards who was the standout in Warnock’s eyes.
“Once again I didn’t think we were a threat. Since I’ve been here, well in fact for the last few years really, there’s not been enough threat up front. Last week if we’d had (Ivan) Toney we’d have won the game and I think if we’d had (Colin) Kazim-Richards today we would have won the game,” Warnock explained.
Kazim-Richards has been excellent for Derby since signing last summer.
Many supporters were somewhat underwhelmed by his signing considering the 34-year-old’s journey to Pride Park included spells in Brazil and Mexico.
But Kazim-Richards has quickly become a cult figure at the club. Aside from leading the club’s scoring charts with six goals, he provides an excellent focal point upfront.
Against Boro, Kazim-Richards won nine aerial duels as he bulled Boro’s central defenders. Britt Assombalonga, meanwhile, recorded just one as he failed to get into the game.
Boro were playoff contenders six weeks ago. However, with six defeats in their last nine and just eight goals scored, Warnock’s side have fallen off the pace.