MIDDLESBROUGH manager Jonathan Woodgate has given his squad reduced time off over this international break in a bid to get results on track.

The Boro boss was left frustrated last Friday when his poor performers ended up deservedly losing 2-1 at Birmingham City.

The defeat leaves Woodgate still waiting to enjoy his third win since taking over and Middlesbrough are far too close to the relegation zone for comfort after 11 games.

Middlesbrough will return to action against Championship leaders West Brom on October 19 and Woodgate is determined to do what he can to get the mood right.

Woodgate has left frustrated by many aspects of his team's display at St Andrew's and has been keen to get his players in rather than give them extra time off - like he did in the last international break. "First and foremost it comes on the pitch when they cross that white line, they have take responsibility themselves. When they cross that line they ave to look at themselves and do it themselves," said Woodgate.

"I've learned they need to do the first things better, the second balls, stopping crosses, winning headers. The dirty side you've got to do and then you can play your stuff. We haven't been doing that.

"In this league you've got to battle as hard as you can. If you don't turn up, like we didn't at Birmingham in the first half, you get beat. It's simple."

Criticism has increased because of Middlesbrough's failings and concerns are rising among fans that Woodgate might not be able to turn things around.

But he is convinced Middlesbrough will get going even if he has to come up with a way to deliver results having struggled so far to get the team playing like he wants. It is understood there is no extra pressure being placed on him from the boardroom, with an acceptance from above that it will take time for Middlesbrough to adapt to stricter financial constraints at a time when he tries to change the club's footballing philosophy.

Middlesbrough will hope to better news on the injury front after the international break, although skipper George Friend remains four-five weeks away from a comeback. Left-back Hayden Coulson should be fit after the internationals and has rejoined training.