Stoke boss Steven Schumacher wants to make their home ground a fortress after a crucial 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Bae Jun-ho’s second goal in as many games before the interval set the hosts on course to a vital victory.

And Lewis Baker put the result beyond any doubt late on to hand the Potters a major boost in their battle for survival.

Stoke remain in the relegation zone but move level on points with three sides above them.

“It’s a big win and I’m really pleased for everyone,” said Schumacher.

“It was two teams that aren’t in brilliant form; the first goal was crucial and after that, we played with a bit more confidence.

“It was a tough game, but I think every one of our players deserves huge credit because everyone played right to the maximum and that’s what it’s going to take.

“We’re in a real battle and there’s so many teams in a congested bottom half of the division.

“We need to make this place a difficult place to come and today our fans were outstanding right from the very first whistle.

“It was a great atmosphere; we needed the fans today and we’re going to need them again.

“They got behind us and I really appreciate the support and the players put in the effort and the commitment that they’ll get behind.

“It was a massive win and every point that you get is going to be huge; everyone can see how tight it is. Six points separate us and 12th, which is mental.

“It’ll change loads of times from now until the end of the season. There are 11 games to go, a lot of points to play for and we’ve got to try and get as many as we can.”

Middlesbrough slipped to a fourth defeat in five games as their wastefulness was punished.

Riley McGree was denied an early opener by Daniel Iversen and Emmanuel Latte Lath had an effort blocked on the line.

“It was always going to be a tough one and a bit of a wrestle,” said boss Michael Carrick.

“I thought we got to grips with it well early in the game and we had some really good chances.

“The first goal was important today and it didn’t go our way and we didn’t really get to grips with chasing the game as we would’ve liked.

“It wasn’t for a lack of effort or attitude; we just didn’t have the ball in the right part of the pitch for long enough.

“Confidence when you’re not winning is tested; it’s the human side to sport and you can’t expect the boys to be flying because we haven’t had good results.

“We’ve got to be wary of the next game, picking up the next win as soon as we can and performing well.

“That’s purely the main focus for me now; we’ve got a cluster of games coming up over the next 10 days or so.

“We need to look forward to and attack them as they’re opportunities for us to put things right.

“We want the next result to come quickly for us but in terms of the league table, it doesn’t change the next game.

“Wherever you’re at in the league, you’re always trying to win the next game.”