A WEEK after winning at West Brom, Middlesbrough aim for a repeat performance today against another promotion contender when they face second-top Leeds United, and a victory is needed to boost morale on Teesside.

The manner of Middlesbrough’s midweek defeat sapped enthusiasm among some supporters, Tony Pulis’ side having been a long second best at Newport County.

While exiting the FA Cup so meekly was hugely disappointing, the manager is keen to forget about Tuesday’s troubles, and points out it is only seven days since recording a fine win at West Brom.

Asked about the loss in the rain at Rodney Parade, he said: “Tuesday?, What happened Tuesday? We move on. What happened last Saturday against West Brom? We moved on.

“But that's what you do, you have to move on. We've got an important game coming up against Leeds so all that is in the past now and what the players have got to understand that and make sure they are ready for tomorrow.

“Tuesday has numbed down the fact we played so well at West Brom, everybody has forgotten about that game.

“To go to Newport and play as poorly as we did under the circumstances…but nobody has mentioned how well we played at West Brom.

“We’re not in the FA Cup now, we’re in the Championship and we’ve got to put performances in like we did at West Brom between now and the end of the season.”

Beating Leeds would mean recording only a seventh Riverside league win of the campaign – Boro are ranked 14th in the Championship in terms of points accrued at home.

Yet they have the joint-highest number of away wins alongside Norwich, West Brom, Sheffield United and Bristol City. The highest? Leeds United, who have won eight times away from Elland Road.

The absence of Adama Traore, sold last summer to Wolves, could be a key factor in Boro’s home woes, says Pulis.

“Last year we couldn't beat any of the top teams, now we are doing really well against the top teams and struggling against the lower teams.

“Adama we had last year who we relied on enormously at times, he was the game-changer for us and we haven't one of those players in the team this year and we've most probably struggled at home more than away because of it.”

Middlesbrough had no issues at home last season against Leeds, winning 3-0 with Patrick Bamford scoring a hat-trick.

The striker would love to repeat the feat today, though is now with Leeds and has recently recovered from a long-term injury.

“He’s been unlucky at Leeds because of his injuries, because that would most probably have been a good fit for Pat,” said Pulis, who sold Bamford for a fee of £7m.

“He’s almost like a new signing. They’ve got someone back now who is fit, a proven goalscorer at this level and we’ll be keen to look after Patrick tomorrow.

“People talked to me about him and said he was laidback, but that was Patrick’s style, that’s the way he was. I found him to be a good kid.”

Another former Boro boy at Leeds is winger Jack Harrison, on loan from Manchester City.

“He has benefited from being here and he has gone on to play more games at Leeds,” said Pulis.

“He is a great lad, a fantastic kid and is a credit to this his parents, great attitude.

“I know he’s on loan at Leeds and it will be interesting to see whether Man City take him back or whether he goes back to Leeds on loan or someone else.”

Leeds arrive at the Riverside with manager Marcelo Bielsa having recently been in the spotlight for admitting to spying on opposition, sending representatives to watch training sessions.

Pulis was full of praise for the Argentinian, however, and says he spent an hour talking tactics with him through an interpreter after the sides drew 0-0 at Elland Road in August.

“He had an interpreter there, we sat down and had a beer,” revealed Pulis.

“He’s clever in what he does. There’s all sorts of stuff going on in his mind I imagine.

“I’ve always been a very hardworking person who looks at things in-depth and tried to get the best out of what I’ve got.

“I’ve always tried to achieve the best results with what I’m given, that’s always been my remit as an individual, to be as honest as I can and work a hard as I can to get the best out of what I’m given.

“If you look at Marcelo he’s the same, he works really hard to get the best of people. I had an hour with him after the game and I found him an interesting character.

“Watching his team he has a got an identity, you can see what they are trying to achieve, you can see that he has got control of the team, they are trying to reproduce what he is trying to do on the training ground.

“There is an identity there and that impresses me as a coach.

“I hate watching teams and when you look at them you don’t know what they’re trying to achieve, whichever why they’re cooking it you just can’t see what they’re trying to do.

“I enjoy going to games when you can see what they have worked on and working to a certain system.”