TONY Mowbray will not hear a bad word about his Middlesbrough side – but admits he is in a “results business”.
Boro face promoted Bournemouth at the Riverside tomorrow desperate for three points to kick start their season – and their year (kick-off 3pm).
Mowbray’s side have won only once this season – a 1-0 success at Charlton Athletic courtesy of Lukas Jutkiewicz.
And the Teessiders have won just four throughout 2013, having brought in the new year top of the Championship table.
Boro finished 16th last term, a position they still occupy now ahead of the visit of the Cherries.
Mowbray has freshened up his team, bringing in out-of-contract Dean Whitehead and signing Kei Kamara from MLS side Sporting Kansas City and Jacob Butterfield from Norwich City.
Some of the football has been very pleasing on the eye, but it has not been reflected in the points column.
They have not aided their cause by relinquishing leads at Wigan and Nottingham Forest, with both games ending 2-2.
Mowbray though is confident it is only a matter of time before they turn it around.
“I think we have played some really, really good football in the seven games,”he said.
“I understand it’s a results business and I get statistics shot at me yet the performance level of the team, in my opinion, has been very high.
“I think we’ve played miles better this season than the start of last but we probably have half the points.
“It will even itself out I’m sure.
“There are only positive things from me regarding the team and this group.
“The application and desire were there at Forest and there’s a great camaraderie.
“I work with these players every day and if I thought they were struggling and confidence was low, I’d probably be trying to mask things up.
“But I feel the team believe they have a real good chance of pressurising the top six this year.”
Mowbray, without a home win to date, is minus Emanuel Ledesma who was red-carded late in the draw at the City Ground for a wild lunge.
But Hungarian international Jozsef Varga could return to the starting line-up after missing the away matches at Ipswich and Nottingham Forest.
Bournemouth are just outside the play-off zone, sitting pretty in eighth with 12 points.
“We have an opportunity over the next four to five weeks to win some matches,” Mowbray added.