GARRY MONK wants Middlesbrough to come out firing when they return to Championship action – just as they did after the last international break.

Boro went into the last break on the back of a defeat to Nottingham Forest and then a stuttering home draw with Preston, but hit Bolton with a 3-0 win when they played again.

This time around they enter into the international fortnight on the back of a three match winless run, including two frustrating results at the Riverside.

Loading article content

Now Monk hopes Middlesbrough can use this two weeks to iron out problems they encountered in a defeat to Norwich and a draw with Brentford before winning in style at Barnsley on October 14.

He said: “The last international break we talked about needing improvements and they came, this international break we need to look to correct and make further improvements. We need to come out firing like we did last time.

“It’s a case of what we need to do, we are fully aware of where we are. For some reason I felt there was that anxiety on the pitch. We started pretty well in the first few minutes against Brentford, but maybe the anxiety comes from the players to get that first goal quickly.

“Maybe we lose a bit of confidence when it doesn’t come. We have to stay patient and confident that it will come. We will work on that. The players are fully aware of that.”

With the exception of the victory at Bolton on September 9 there has been a feeling Middlesbrough have yet to really find top gear under Monk.

He has changed a lot since he came in, and that is understandable given how low morale was after last season’s unsuccessful battle to avoid relegation.

But Monk, who has already suggested he is not worried by Middlesbrough’s position of four points off the play-offs, feels things can improve – and that they will.

He said: “We are very clear. The players know what is needed and for some reason on Saturday we didn’t have the confidence, that real confidence or that fight in the second half.

“That led to indecision, the goals we conceded. We weren’t focused on those real moments. We had to fight back and we did that exceptionally well to do that.

“It’s all part of the process. These are a good group of players to work with. We will do it again, and we will correct these situations.

“Our crowd has been great with us so far, the players are fully committed, the intention is clear. I can say that honestly.

“We have spoken about having more confidence, of course we see that and we will work on those things during the break. That’s when we do get the chance to work hard on those.”

Monk will spend the next ten days contemplating what changes to make to his team ahead of the trip to Oakwell.

He left out young defender Dael Fry, who made a costly error against Norwich last week, to accommodate Ryan Shotton and he struggled on his debut.

Now it has emerged that Fry is being watched by some of the Premier League’s top clubs, with Manchester United and Chelsea two keeping a close eye on the 20-year-old’s progress.