ADAM CLAYTON knows Middlesbrough are not firing in the Championship like they would like to be, even if he is convinced there is nothing to worry about on Teesside.

Boro came close to losing a second successive home game but battled back from falling behind twice to earn a point against Brentford on Saturday.

That was a point more than they had earned last Tuesday when Norwich left the Riverside with three points and in both fixtures Middlesbrough have lacked a cutting edge.

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Aside from those two fixtures, Garry Monk’s men have fallen behind in their previous two league games when they have battled back to earn four points against QPR and Fulham.

And Clayton believes the points being collected, rather than lost, highlight the sort of character that exists within the dressing room, even if the players know they have to work on turning in more complete performances.

He said: “This league is tough. There isn’t a team that has walked it since Newcastle United (2010). Nobody walks this league. We have to remember and respect we will not win every game 3-0. It will be tough.

“Maybe we are not quite at our best and not quite getting the results we want. But it is one defeat in nine and we need to get a few more wins under our belt.

“If we can gel together that last little bit then we will beat most teams in the league. Until that happens we need to get some more work done to make sure it happens.

“It’s not through a lack of trying. We have a great spirit, the efforts and the endeavours can’t be doubted. We have to keep going and one day it will click and then everyone, the fans, the players, will be sound. We are not in dire straits by any stretch. We just need to keep going.

“Even last Tuesday we had enough chances to get back into the game. As long as we are creating chances then we will get there. The strikers here will score goals we see that all the time in training. We need to get our heads down and get that win that gets everyone going.”

Monk has already outlined this international break will be crucial in taking Middlesbrough’s performances onto the next level, having seen improvements from the last break.

By the time Middlesbrough travel to Barnsley it is hoped among the squad they will be equipped to win more of their matches again, as they look to close the four point gap to the play-offs and the eight to top spot.

Clayton said: “The mistakes we are making are not a lack of concentration. It’s just been one of those periods where we are having to iron out the kinks we have shown.

“Like the other night, Dael Fry has been different class and he made one mistake the other night against Norwich, that’s probably the first thing he has done wrong for us. We are being punished with our mistakes.

“It was a point against Brentford and I think we showed real endeavour to get there. The break might be nice timing. We will try to right the wrongs. Once we get the whole package right I am sure we will be OK.”