Ryan Shotton reveals the big advantage Middlesbrough hold over Aston Villa and Bristol City in the play-off race
Middlesbrough full-back Ryan Shotton believes Middlesbrough hold a big advantage over their rivals in the race for the play-offs.
Boro moved back into the top six thanks to victory over Stoke City on Good Friday, and will be looking to cement their spot in the play-off places when they travel to Nottingham Forest this afternoon.
But with the likes of Aston Villa, Bristol City and Derby County all vying for the final two spots in the top six, Tony Pulis' side are well aware of the consequences a defeat could have,
Having looked nailed on for a top six finish at the turn of the year, a six-game winless run saw Middlesbrough's play-off hopes take a hit.
Pulis has rallied the troops in recent weeks, though, and their victory over the Potters was their third straight win.
And speaking to Teesside Live, Shotton insists the side were always full of confidence, especially given that they felt they have the 'best fixtures' during the run-in - something the full-back hopes will prove to be an advantage over their rivals.
"We knew it was mathematically possible and said ideally we have the best fixtures so if we win our games we get back in," said Shotton, of Boro's desire to bounce back from the poor run of form.
"We said there's no reason we can't get in and stay in. We knew everyone can't win their games.
"Teams have a game in hand but they're tough.
"So many teams are playing each other, we knew if we stay strong and defensive we'd get the goals and it would pay off."