TONY PULIS has vowed not bow to fan pressure despite Middlesbrough’s wretched run continuing with a 1-0 defeat to Bristol City, but admitted Steve Gibson would make the final call on his future.

Boro remain two points adrift of the play-off places after suffering a fifth successive defeat courtesy of Adam Webster’s first-half header.

The Teessiders once again missed a succession of gilt-edged chances, with Jonny Howson and Britt Assombalonga both hitting the woodwork, and the frustration in the stands boiled over in the closing stages with a series of critical chants aimed in Pulis’ direction.

Middlesbrough supporters joined in with chants of “You’re getting sacked in the morning”, which originated from the Bristol City fans in the away end, and a loud chorus of “We want Pulis out” was clearly audible at the final whistle.

Pulis understands the supporters’ frustrations given recent results, but is adamant he will not be walking away, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season. He does, however, concede that Gibson will ultimately determine his future, with the Boro chairman having watched last night’s match alongside Peter Kenyon and Neil Bausor in the directors’ box.

“I have been in this position before,” said Pulis. “I don’t determine my job, that is up to Steve. I will just keep going.

“I will never criticise supporters. They pay their money, I am the custodian of the club for the time I'm given.

“It’s (his future) nothing to do with me, it’s up to Steve, ask him. I will carry on, keep going, but the important thing is the players keep performing the way they are playing and results will come. I said that four games ago, mind.”

Having bemoaned his side’s lack of success in front of goal in Saturday’s home defeat to Norwich City, Pulis was once again left dumbstruck by his side’s finishing last night.

Howson, Assombalonga and George Saville all wasted inviting opportunities in the first half, and the profligacy continued after the interval. Ashley Fletcher and Stewart Downing joined the list of players to spurn clear openings, before substitute Jordan Hugill got in the act by failing to find the target in the closing moments of the game.

“The one thing I have to say is you can't fault the players,” said Pulis. “We created five or six chances and even the free-kick we worked on this morning nearly came off. There is no way in a million years I can fault them for effort.

“I am disappointed for the lads. We had 23 shots at goal tonight, 17 on Saturday. That is 40 in two games, I don't think I had that at Stoke for a whole season, never mind two games.

“You couldn’t say the players were out there not running around. They are disappointed because we have played five games, and Villa was the only one we deserved to lose. The other four should be 12 points.”

Pulis was, however, critical of the defending that enabled Bristol City to claim the only goal of the game towards the end of the first half.

Webster was left completely unmarked as Jay Dasilva delivered a corner from the right, and the defender duly headed home from the edge of the six-yard box.

“We got done with a set-play,” said Pulis. “They looked dangerous on the break, and we were open at times and they countered well. Darren (Randolph) made a couple of great saves, but all in all there was only us to blame. We needed that bit of luck.”

The defeat means Boro are two points adrift of the play-off places with seven games to play, although they have now played a game more than Derby County, who are a place above them in seventh, and Bristol City, who have risen to fifth.

The Teessiders return to action at Swansea City at the weekend, with their opponents sure to have been buoyed by last night’s 3-0 win over Brentford.

Stewart Downing will be available to start at the Liberty Stadium, having made his first Championship start of 2019 last night after agreeing to waive the clause in his contract that would have entitled him to a new one-year deal.

“That was between Stewy and the club and they have resolved it, which is brilliant,” said Pulis. “I was not privy to the contract or the talks, so it is difficult for me to say who it is best for.”