Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray admitted his team have to learn how to close out games after a nervous finish to a 2-0 Riverside win over Ipswich.
They went ahead in the first half with a strike from teenager Luke Williams and sealed victory in stoppage time as Mustapha Carayol streaked clear to stroke home, but the home side had to dig deep and withstand a second-half siege as Ipswich piled on the pressure.
"We have to learn how to win games comfortably," Mowbray said. "The second goal gives you a breathing space in games. We never had that often last season at home and we let a few games slip away.
"We weren't great today and we perhaps made it harder than we had to for ourselves, but we have to look at the positives. That is a game that last year we might have drawn, but we stood up to it. The defence were magnificent."
Disappointed Ipswich boss Paul Jewell insisted there was more to the game than the outcome.
"I don't think the scoreline tells the story of the game," Jewell said. "I thought for long spells we were the better team, we just lacked a cutting edge. We produced lots of quality football and lots of quality possession. We had lots of shots on goal too but none of them have gone in.
"You look at the result and we lost 2-0 but have to look deeper than just the result at this stage of the season and some of our play was excellent. If we had come out of that game with just a point we would still have been disappointed not to have won."
Middlesbrough grabbed the lead out of the blue after 34 minutes as Kevin Thomson pushed a first-time diagonal ball into the feet of Williams who drilled a low shot inside the foot of the far post.
After the break both sides traded good chances, as home substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz put a looping header just over with his first touch then fired into the side-netting, while for Ipswich, Michael Chopra had an overhead kick deflected over.
Middlesbrough sealed it in stoppage time, substitute Carayol latching on to a long ball forward by goalkeeper Jason Steele to steer home under the advancing Scott Loach.