Garry Monk says Middlesbrough must show the same passion as chairman Steve Gibson.
Boro head to fellow out-of-sorts outfit Reading tomorrow (kick-off 3pm), having taken only three points from a possible 15.
There are a lot of things we need to get better at, but I’m sure you’ll see that in the coming days and weeksGARRY MONK
That points return has seen Boro fall from the top six down to 13th. Asked if Gibson’s “we’ll smash the league” vow is a millstone around his neck, Monk was defiant.
“Not at all, it’s passion, and that’s exactly what we all must show,” he said.
“We know we are not far away from doing that.
“There are a lot of things we need to get better at, but I’m sure you’ll see that in the coming days and weeks.
“It’s been a difficult period for us, there’s no hiding from that.
“We’ve not performed at the levels we know we are capable of and we’ve not got the results we’ve wanted.
“Myself, more than anyone, understands the criticism we have received, and rightly so in some respects.
“But we are determined to put that right, we know what we are capable of.
“The effort is there, there’s no doubting that, we just have not hit the heights we need to.”
Despite, Reading’s troubles – they have only won three times – Monk anticipates a tricky task at the Madejski Stadium.
“It’s a difficult game, Reading are a good side – they had an excellent season last year,” said Monk, who wants to see his side build on a fine effort from a much-changed side at Bournemouth in the midweek Carabao Cup defeat.
“But it’s about us more than anything. Tuesday night was encouraging. While we didn’t get the result, it was more to the level we need to get to.
“We need to take the performance into the games before the international break and come out fighting.”
On the subject of Gibsons, Monk is “delighted” that skipper Ben Gibson has put pen to paper on a new contract.
“Fantastic news. for himself and the club,” was Monk’s verdict. “Since coming here I’ve really enjoyed working with him.
“For him to show that commitment is great news. He’s a home-grown lad, he knows how much this club means to everyone and I think that’s vitally important to have in your squad. It’s a great sign of intention for him and the club.”