FINN AZAZ is confident Middlesbrough’s players will turn their results around as long as they stick to the footballing principles Michael Carrick has instilled into them this season.

Boro crashed to a third defeat in the last four matches as they went down 2-0 at home to Plymouth Argyle at the weekend, with the loss leaving them a mammoth 11 points adrift of the play-off positions.

Looking down the table, Boro are just nine points clear of the relegation zone, but while their form since the turn of the year has been poor, Azaz is confident things will turn.

“Results are frustrating, but we have to try and block out the outside noise and have belief in what we do, and that we are on the right track,” said the forward, who was a January signing from Aston Villa, having spent the first half of the season on loan at Plymouth.

“I’ve been in the league enough now to see what dominant performances are, and see a clear way of playing, which is something we have that not many teams do.

“I do think that we just have to have that belief and togetherness in order to not listen to any negativity and keep believing in what we’re doing.”


Boro head to Stoke City at the weekend before entertaining Norwich City, and just as they embarked on lengthy winning run earlier in the season to burst up the table, so Azaz is convinced they are capable of putting together a similar sequence to improve their league position in the next few weeks.

“There is definitely still time in the season, and we are staying positive,” he said. “There are still plenty of games to go and obviously I’m aware of what happened here at the start of the season - not getting a win for seven games and then winning six on the bounce. So, we know it is possible.”

While results have not really gone to plan in the last few weeks, Azaz has been pleased with the way in which he has settled into life on Teesside following his move in the January window.

“It’s been great so far from a settling in point of view, with all the staff and all the players being great,” he said. “I feel comfortable, but it’s been so full on in the last month or so that there hasn’t really been chance to kind of take a breath.

“Obviously, the results haven’t been what we want them to be. Everything aside from the results has been great though. I’ve been playing and I feel like I get better with every game, but the results will make it even more special.”