ALBERT ADOMAH thinks that Middlesbrough’s players have started to believe in Aitor Karanka’s choice of system again.
Just one win in their last 12 matches has seen Middlesbrough drop out of contention for a play-off place and they have struggled to threaten Championship defences.
Karanka has tried different players in different positions in an attempt to address the slide, although he has always remained loyal to the formation he has sent out.
That was also the case during the impressive run of form that looked capable of ending in a climb in to the top six.
But the severe drop in form had a negative effect on confidence within the squad.
Adomah felt the strains more than most. He was in and out of the side and had looked unlikely to add to his season tally.
However, Karanka was full of admiration for him after Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Huddersfield Town, where the African winger scored both to end his own wait for a goal.
“I am pleased to hear nice things said about me. You want to do well for a manager that believes in you. That’s my aim,” said Adomah.
“The manager came in with a different philosophy when he took over and we picked up great momentum. We were unbeaten for six games.
“That was down to confidence and we suddenly believed we could win games. Now we are on a rollercoaster, we go up and down with results and performances.
“He is trying to stick with the philosophy and it’s about the players believing in it. I think we showed that we did on Tuesday and we need to take that in to the next game now.”
Middlesbrough head to Brighton on Saturday knowing there are 13 points separating them from the play-off zone so hopes of promotion are seemingly over.
Adomah is likely to retain his spot in the team at the Amex Stadium, with Karanka keen to see him build on his first goals since December 29 after showing leadership qualities inside the dressing room at Huddersfield.
“At half-time I tried to psyche out the players because it looked like everyone was down,” said Adomah, who soon equalised after the restart after Middlesbrough had started the second half 2-1 down.
“I was telling the players to believe more and to have a positive start. It showed we had the belief back. The manager has not asked me to do that. It’s coming from other senior players as well. When we are down somebody picks the team up and hopefully we can go out and do well.”
Adomah’s double brought an end to Middlesbrough's seven hour-plus wait for goals away from the Riverside Stadium and one player struggling in front of the net is striker Danny Graham.
But Graham, on loan from Sunderland, has been starved of decent opportunities more often than not during the team's poor run and the players are appreciative of everything else the front-man does during the game.
Adomah said: “For my second goal, Danny made a great run, which won’t have been noticed, I would not have been able to shoot otherwise. Danny opened it up for me.
“Everyone wants Danny to score because he has come from the Premier League and he is a great striker. He is a clinical striker, we have seen that in training. He has shown that at different levels too.
“But at the same time he works so hard. You see him sweating. He has bruises on his side, on his back, from his duels with the centre-backs. People who go to the games see that.”