BRITT ASSOMBALONGA is remaining positive that things will turn around in front of goal and Middlesbrough head coach Jonathan Woodgate is convinced the striker will emerge from his barren spell.

Boro’s club record signing has seen his confidence drain away in and around the penalty area in recent weeks and his only goal from his last nine appearances was the one he was credited with from the EFL’s dubious goals committee against Preston on October 1.

His other three all arrived before that and that four-goal tally still has him as the team’s leading scorer this season, highlighting the over-reliance on him finding a way to end one of the worst droughts he has had in his career.

Assombalonga has tended to average a goal every few matches over the course of his playing days with Peterborough, Nottingham Forest and then the Riverside. The problems he is encountering on Teesside are something new and Woodgate is confident things will eventually turn for him.

“I always speak to my players, offer advice in different situations,” said Woodgate, whose side have gone more than six hours without hitting the net.

“Britt will come good I believe in him. His record shows he will score in the Championship. He is going through one of those patches.

“He is positive. Britt is good, he is a good lad. People can look from the outside, think in general, that players aren’t trying and that is maybe because they are low on confidence.

“They might not always want the ball in certain situations but it’s not through a lack of trying it’s maybe a lack of confidence. We will do our best to help him turn this around.”

Woodgate has given Assombalonga nothing but backing since he returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty last summer. He has consistently praised him, even after two penalty misses that left Middlesbrough frustrated in the early part of the campaign.

The £15m man looked like a little boy lost in front of goal last weekend at Derby when he did plenty of things positively outside of the box but then fell to pieces when he had opportunities to test the goalkeeper.

It is hoped Queens Park Rangers’ tendency to concede – given only Barnsley have conceded more this season – will help Middlesbrough’s cause in their bid to improve on the worst scoring record in the division.

Woodgate said: “Yes, they’ve conceded a lot of goals but they have scored a lot with the likes of Jordan Hugill, Nahki Wells and Ebere Eze. That’s three really good players going forward but they do concede.

“It’s one of those games again it’s a difficult game but it’s the Championship. Look at the results at the weekend. Hull beating Fulham 3-0. It’s a crazy league and anything can happen. A lot of teams and a lot of players are inconsistent and that’s why they are in this division.”

While Assombalonga has struggled of late, Hugill has recaptured his scoring touch this season with seven goals after last season’s disappointing loan at his hometown club. Woodgate had a huge role to play in attracting the Teessider back home from West Ham last season.

The Middlesbrough boss said: “He did really well there. He got a bit of stick but he’s showed that if he gets the service he will bang in the goals.

“Why didn’t it work out? Maybe it was how we played at times. He didn’t always have someone up there with him. He was a lone striker but now he has got Eze and Wells putting things on a plate for him.”

Middlesbrough will have another strong away following at Loftus Road and Woodgate would love nothing more than to put on a show for them after winning just two of their first 16 matches under Woodgate.

He said: “I think the fans more than ever, if I’m in charge, whoever is in charge, the fans need to be with us.

“They were with us in that game last week, the Derby fans were singing you’re getting sacked in the morning, the Middlesbrough fans were chanting my name.

“I was really proud at that moment, fair play because the manager is getting abuse and they are sticking by you in a real tough period for the football club.

“That’s what we need, we need to stick together, it’s no good me having negativity because there is a bigger picture at the football club. I was really pleased and I just wanted to say thanks to them for showing that.”

To keep the supporters on side he knows that victories are required. Over the eight match winless run he has regularly suggested his side haven’t deserved to lose and he is a believer than his methods will turn things around.

He said: “The leader has got to be confident. If you are going on the training pitch every day with your head in your hands then it’s not going to be good.

“You have to create a positive environment, I need to be positive with my players, I need to believe in them. I’ve got to be positive, got to be resilient. I tell the players you have to keep going.”