Unwanted Australia striker Scott McDonald still has a way to go to convince Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray of his value despite scoring the winner in his club's 2-1 Championship victory at Watford.
McDonald has been on the outer this season with Middlesbrough keen to move him and his high wages on.
However a midweek heart to heart with Mowbray led to the former Celtic marksman coming on in the 39th minute on the northern edge of London.
In his first outing for the club since April, McDonald struck the winner in the 77th minute against Gianfranco Zola's side which was reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute.
The Australian showed good composure in the box before striking the ball across his body from about 12 metres out into the bottom left corner for his first club goal since February.
"Scott has shown over the last few weeks that he can buy into what we're trying to do and be a part of the squad," Mowbray said.
"He's got a lot of good players to compete with and the test for Scott is when he's taken off or doesn't even make the bench.
"He has a decent football brain and understands his job, even though I asked him to play on the left.
"He worked hard and scored the goal that won us the game."
Middlesbrough tried to sell McDonald in the off-season without success.
Socceroos star Tim Cahill did it again for New York Red Bulls with a stoppage time winner in the 1-0 Major Soccer League win over Los Angeles Galaxy at Red Bull Arena.