Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Clayton reveals how time away has helped boost morale ahead of Brentford clash
Middlesbrough are ready to resume their Championship promotion push after spending two days with the RAF during the recent international break.
The Boro squad undertook a series of team bonding challenges ahead of this Saturday's trip to Brentford.
Midfielder Adam Clayton, 29, has been a regular for Tony Pulis' side this campaign and believes the experience has bolstered the camaraderie among the group.
"It was good. Gained some good experience, talked to people at various different levels at the RAF," Clayton told MFC.com.
"It was good to get a different perspective on leadership so it was really good.
"We did a few activities that were really good. A few team bonding things and I think we got what we needed out of the trip.
Boro could go top of the table with a win at Griffin Park, if league leaders Norwich slip up at Swansea.
And Clayton insists training has been going well after several Boro players jetted off to represent their countries last weekend.
He also believes the team's time away has helped some of the quieter players come out of their shells.
"Training has been sharp this week so it was a good thing," added Clayton.
"It's a trip away so it's a bit more camaraderie, maybe brings a bit more out of people who maybe don't talk as much.
"They had to do certain things with each other and communicate so people who might be a bit quieter were chosen to be captains.
"It brought a few people out of their shell a little bit more and together more as a group."
Brentford are 15th in the Championship and have struggled after manager Dean Smith left for Aston Villa.
Even so, Clayton is expecting a tough game against the Bees.
“I think this is where you show what you are about, you see what teams are made of in this period,” added Clayton.
“Hopefully when we come out of the other end we’re in a similar position in the top two or top one if we could choose, but we’ll take every game as it comes and keep going.
“Every game in this league, especially away from home, is a tough game but I’ve had a few tough games down at Brentford so we know what to expect, we’ve prepared adequately for it and we’ll do what we can to get three points.”