FORWARD Scott McDonald is hoping for an upturn in fortunes for Championship strugglers Middlesbrough.
The 27-year-old scored in last weekend’s 3-2 victory at Millwall and looks set to keep his place for tomorrow’s visit of table toppers Queens Park Rangers (3pm).
That win at The New Den came amid a backdrop of crowd trouble, in which sections of the home crowd threw bottles towards visiting goalkeeper Jason Steele.
But McDonald says that did little to take away from the joy of securing a victory which takes them five points clear of relegation.
“It was a great bounce-back after the disappointment of the week before against Swansea when we lost 4-3,” he said.
“It was fantastic to play in that atmosphere and to see our players could cope with that sort of pressure.
“Given the choice I’d play in that atmosphere every week – obviously without the violence that went with it.”
He added: “I don’t think we felt threatened, because all their attentions were on the officials themselves, up until something was thrown from behind the goal at Steeley, anyway.
“But we didn’t feel there was going to be a mass invasion of the pitch.
“You don’t like stoppages and we’d just gone 2-1 up – but when the game started it didn’t work as they scored from a free-kick!
“I can imagine a few people thought we’d do well to hang on for a draw the way things have gone this season but we showed character to get the three points.”
McDonald and co now turn their attention to the Riverside showdown with Neil Warnock’s league leaders.
And the former Celtic man says confidence has been restored following last weekend’s South London success.
“QPR are the team in form and the team to beat,” he said. “They’ve been at the top from the start and I’m sure they’ll want to stay there.
“But we’re very confident that especially at home we can more than match any team in this league.
“We’ll play our own game – we know they’re a good team and have good individuals but so have we and we’ve been harder to beat since the turn of the year.
“I have no doubt that with the squad we have we should be higher than we are but all we can do is look at these two games and try to get as many points as we can and then hopefully we can stop looking over our shoulders.
“For me, I’ve been back for a couple of games now and itching to get back on the scoresheet.”