TONY Mowbray today sent out a reminder that Middlesbrough are “at the right end of the table”.
Boro fans are worrying that history could be repeating itself after seeing their side slip to their third npower Championship defeat in a row.
Twelve months ago, Boro started 2012 in second place in the table, just two points behind leaders Southampton, only to go on a five-match run which produced only two points.
Mowbray’s side have begun 2013 in less than convicing style, suffering three losses on the bounce, the most recent of which was Friday night’s 1-0 defeat at Leicester.
The winner of the game would have gone second in the table and Mowbray insists they cannot dwell on it and points out they are still welll positioned in fifth, just three points outside the autmatic promotion spots.
“We’re just looking forward to the next game, that’s what football’s about,” Mowbray explained.
“It’s frustrating, of course, because we are in the business of trying to win matches and pick up points.
“But we’re at the right end of the table and we’re doing OK.
“We’ve just got to keep going and see where it takes us.”
Friday night’s game at a snowy King Power Stadium followed on from the frustrating patterm of Boro away days.
Aside from the New Year’s Day mauling at Derby County, Boro have competed strongly on the road, only to end up empty handed.
“Cardiff, Birmingham and Leeds were all games we did well enough in not to have come away with a defeat,” said Mowbray.
“The bottom line is missed chances.
“We had opportunities but we couldn’t put them in the back of the net.
“There is enough evidence to suggest why we’re at the right end of the table.
“There was enough threat from us and on another day they would have gone in.”
Mowbray changed formation for the live televised match with Nigel Pearson’s free-scoroing Foxes but denied that being a contributary factor.
Indeed, the Boro boss feels his line-up presented Leicester with the headaches and only missed opportunities prevented them from taking one or three points.
“I don’t the shape of the team was a problem,” he said.
“The shape of our team gave them lots of problems – they changed theirs after half an hour to try to deal with ours.
“But football’s about players not shapes.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t win let alone take a point.”
Next up for Boro is an FA Cup fourth round date with Aldershot at the Riverside on Saturday.
Their next npower Championship fixture is another awayday, at Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich on Saturday, February 2.