Tony Pulis explains why Middlesbrough can bounce back after heavy defeat against Aston Villa

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.

Tony Pulis believes Middlesbrough can get their promotion bid back on track after last weekend's heavy defeat against Aston Villa.

The Teessiders host Blackburn on Saturday afternoon following a 3-0 at the Riverside last time out.

But Pulis knows all about the unpredictability of a Championship season, which is not even at the halfway stage this campaign.

Last season Boro lost 1-0 to Fulham at the Riverside in January when the Cottagers were 10th in the table.

The result was part of a 23-match unbeaten run for Slavisa Jokanovic's side which eventually saw them promoted.

Pulis hopes his side can produce something similar this campaign.

"We played Fulham around this time last year, they beat us and they shouldn't have beaten us," said Pulis.

"Then they went on an extraordinary run and won promotion.

"A lot of it is about confidence and making the players believe in themselves."

The result against Villa was Boro's first league defeat for seven games and saw the Teessiders drop to fourth in the table, five points behind league leaders Norwich.

But Pulis insists his players have responded well in training and shouldn't be discouraged.

"The players have been good. It was our first defeat in eight, and although we weren't as good as we have been, you have to give credit to Villa," added Pulis.

"You have to dust yourself down and look forward to the next game.

"The games come round so fast so you always have chance to respond."