MIDDLESBROUGH manager Steve McClaren insists his side's European adventure is not over despite last night's 3-2 defeat at the hands of Sporting Lisbon.

McClaren admits the Teessiders have a mountain to climb going into next week's return leg in the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

However, McClaren insists Boro still have a chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup.

Sporting had led 3-0 through Pedro Barbosa, Roudolphe Douala and Liedson Huniz, before Joseph Job (79) and Chris Riggott (86) reduced the deficit.

"I think there was enough evidence tonight to suggest we can score over there," said McClaren.

"The players showed character and attitude to get us the two goals.

"They weren't consolation goals, they were there for a reason. It's put us back in the tie.

"We showed the vulnerability they have at the back and we aim to exploit that this week. If we get the first goal anything can happen."

"At 3-0 they were controlling the game, but our players never gave up. "It was a special goal from Joseph, it sparked us and we finished the game strongly.

"The crowd stayed with us and the players stayed with us and we got our rewards."

* QPR manager Ian Holloway has not given up hope of signing defender Andrew Davies from Boro.

Rangers' offer for the 20-year-old was accepted recently, but the deal fell through.

Davies' wage demands were believed to be the stumbling block, but Holloway insisted there were other factors behind his decision.

''If I can have him back on loan or permanently, I will, because he wants to come here,'' said Holloway.

''But he was very surprised that Middlesbrough were ready to let him go, because he had a four-year contract with them.

''Middlesbrough have made it clear he has no future there. I would be delighted to have him back - and the people who own the club actually wanted to buy him.

''I will try to resurrect it as soon as possible. I don't care if it is only on a temporary basis.''

The Monaco-based company that rescued QPR from financial strife last summer were as keen on Davies as Holloway is.

But Holloway urged fans not to underestimate the decisions Davies has to make before deciding whether to move to west London.

''Andrew is extremely close to his family, and it would be a big decision for him to move down here,'' continued Holloway.

''The situation was sprung on him very quickly and was a bit of a shock. I'm sure there will be other clubs interested in him.

''It's a life-changing decision. People don't understand what it means to move clubs.

''It's a big, big thing for a 20-year-old to move lock, stock and barrel to London on his own.

''For him, the initial decision to reject the move was far more of a family one than a financial one.''