NEIL WARNOCK has once again spoken of the need for major changes at Middlesbrough this summer – but the Boro boss accepts any talk of long-term progress will be meaningless if he cannot secure Championship safety in the next three games.

Boro’s wait for a first home win of 2020 continued at the weekend as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat to Bristol City.

Their latest loss leaves them two points clear of the relegation zone as they head into the final ten days of the campaign. The club’s final home game against Cardiff City sandwiches matches at Reading and Sheffield Wednesday.

Since taking over from Jonathan Woodgate last month, Warnock has identified a number of key deficiencies that need addressing, but the much-travelled manager accepts a whole new series of problems will present themselves if Boro find themselves starting next season in League One.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy when I came in, but it’s the same for a lot of clubs down there,” said Warnock. “It’ll all be doom and gloom after this, but we haven’t got time for that.

“We have to stay in this league by hook or by crook, and then one or two things have to change quickly. But first things first, we need the points to keep us up.”

Warnock’s five matches in charge have now brought two wins and three defeats, and he admits a lack of consistency is a key problem.

“I watched the Cardiff game the other night (against Fulham), and even though they lost 2-0, I knew what ten of those lads were going to do,” he said. “It’s nice when you’re like that as a manager. But it’s not there at the minute – I don’t know what quite a few of them are going to do.

“I know one thing though, they are trying their hardest. No one is going to tell me they don’t care. We’ve got to get the disappointment behind us and get up and ready for the Reading game.”