Tony Pulis highlights Middlesbrough's financial state compared to Derby, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest as Boro prepare for Rotherham trip
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis doesn't believe his side will have underachieved this season if they fail to reach the play-offs on Sunday.
Boro must beat Rotherham on the final day of the Championship season this weekend, while hoping Derby slip up against West Brom, to finish in the Championship's top six.
The Teessiders were one of the favourites to win promotion from the second tier at the start of the campaign, yet Pulis was quick to discuss the club's limitations this term.
"It’s all on which way you look at it," said Pulis when asked if his side will have underachieved if they don't finish in the top six.
"If you look at it from a financial point of view, £40million of sales, cut the wage bill by a quarter, a third, cut the playing staff by nine to make sure we meet the regulations.
"We’ve done all that so to still stand a chance, if you look at the other sides, Derby have spent a fortune, Villa have spent a fortune.
"When we played Forest, we’d sold players for more than £50million, Forest had bought players for more than £56million.
"It was a £100million deficit between what the clubs had done in the season but nobody talks about that."
Boro sold Adama Traore for a reported £18million fee last summer, along with Ben Gibson and Patrick Bamford for reported figures of £15million and £10 million respectively.
The Teessiders also brought in Aden Flint, Paddy McNair and George Saville for sizeable fees.
On this weekend's fixtures, Pulis insisted his players need to focus on their own jobs at the New York Stadium, rather than think about other results.
And, despite Rotherham's relegation to League One last weekend, Pulis is expecting a tough game against The Millers.
"We’ve got a great chance now," said Pulis. "People are talking about Derby and West Brom and Bristol City, we need to focus on what we can do.
"We’ve got to give it our best. We’ve got a full allocation supporting us, that will be fantastic."
On Rotherham, he added: "Rotherham are the most structured out of the three relegated sides.
"We’ve got beat Rotherham. Then we look at it after that."