Middlesbrough’s Matthew Bates knows Premier League push cannot afford another defeat against Birmingham City

Boro's Matthew Bates
Boro's Matthew Bates
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MATTHEW Bates insists back-to-back defeats are no way to regain Premier League status.

Boro, beaten 2-0 at home to Leeds United on Sunday, make the tricky trip to promotion rivals Birmingham City this weekend.

“The first half of the season saw us avoid back-to-back defeats which was great, it’s very important to do that,” Bates said

“We have to do that for the rest of the season, back-to-back defeats may get us into a lot of trouble.

“We need to go to Birmingham on Saturday and try to put this behind us.”

Read Bates’s thoughts in full, plus all the latest North East footballing gossip, in today’s Sportmail.