JONNY HOWSON feels a united front at Middlesbrough will help pull them through.

Boro have not won in eight games and not scored in four. Their latest humbling came at Derby as Jonathan Woodgate’s side went down 2-0 after playing for an hour with ten men following the dismissal of George Saville.

Howson, who started as wing-back, but moved inside after Saville’s 31st minute red card, admitted: “Lads, staff, all involved we are all in it. There is a concern with where are in the table and we understand that, we are disappointed too.

“You can’t question the effort and we need something else, quality, to change games and give us a bit of confidence. It’s tough when it’s against you and I believe it will turn around.

“At the end we showed the fans we appreciated them and this isn’t the first time I’ve been in a rough patch and sometimes you can see how the fans are by how many stayed to the end - and they stayed with us.

“I believe they can see the effort we are putting in, without getting the rub of the green. We are all in it together and when you care too much maybe we need to relax a bit more. We are all behind it together.

“In a spell without a win like this we want another game to have a go and we wish we had one in midweek to put it right.’’

Saville was dismissed by referee Darren Bond for a lunging tackle on Rams’ midfielder Krystian Bielik.

And Howson admitted he had a degree of sympathy for his teammate.

“It’s not easy when you go a man down, Sav is disappointed and I feel it’s one of them – 50-50 like that it can sometimes happen,’’ said Howson.

“You have to look after yourself in those challenges and he went in fully committed. For me, there’s no wrongdoing with that, he’s fully committed going for the ball and to me it’s not a stupid challenge. Two lads are committed.

“These days, sometimes you barely touch someone and it’s a yellow card. He’s a committed and honest lad.’’

Boro are at QPR on Saturday, ahead of a two-week break as the international programme takes over.

And Howson feels Boro are not far from turning their fortunes around.

“Fine margins, if you like, are going for the opposition at the minute. With ten men, and 11, we gave our all and no-one can question our commitment.

“We probably just need a little more quality as a team and maybe get ourselves in front with something to hold onto.

“Things could have been different and we have to react to it after two minutes, a long way to go. It could have been different, but we win and lose as a team and we stick together. We keep going.

“We need a bit of quality from someone to go and do something. I include myself in that. That final pass to create more chances. There’s no pointing fingers, we have a good, honest group and won’t sulk and keep out heads up.’’

Rams’ boss Phillip Cocu backed up the sentiments of Howson, feeling Boro are possibly, as Woodgate declared last week, in a somewhat false position in the Championship rankings.

The former Dutch international said: “A lot of games are quite tight, decided by a set-piece or late goal which is keeping them at the bottom. I think they have quality players, can play the game and it’s part of confidence at the moment. It’s a fight to get out of their position, not easy.

“If you can get a few good results you can fly up a few positions – they can fly.

“Middlesbrough as a team don’t score many goals, they don’t concede many goals. We did very well and they struggled to find a solution in stopping us.’’

The Rams have had a torrid time off the pitch following the incident in which Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett were found guilty of drink driving, which led to the sacking last week of club captain Richard Keogh.

Lawrence scored both goals in Saturday’s victory.

And while the name of chairman Mel Morris was chanted by the home faithful, it was more in response to the dispute he has had with Boro counterpart Steve Gibson over Financial Fair Play rules.

Cocu, however, felt the backing was down to the club’s stance over the errant trio of players.

He said: “The fans cheered the chairman and our fans are allowed to express how they feel. We know here the bond between fans and club is like a family. What affects us, affects them.

“Not all have the same opinion, but it’s important we stick together and they show their support for the team, chairman. It’s a great feeling and helps step up together. A good result also helps. We can’t forget what happened, but we have to continue our work and play games.

“With the respect if someone has a different opinion, we are all supporters of Derby County.