Tony Mowbray’s Middlesbrough demand

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TONY Mowbray insists that Middlesbrough must start turning draws into wins to make the most of their encouraging position in the Championship promotion race,

Boro are fourth in the table entering the busy festive programme, just behind Cardiff on goal difference going into Saturday’s crunch showdown in Wales.

Second-top West Ham are only two points better off, with Southampton a further three clear in pole position.

But Boro have been held back by their eight draws, including six at home.

Mowbray said: “If you look at our home games we’ve only lost one but we’ve drawn more than we would have liked to.

“We played really well against the likes of Ipswich and Leicester but we drew three on the bounce.

“The Brighton win (last weekend) gives us confidence as we move on to our next home test, against Hull City on Boxing Day.

“I felt we deserved to win, but it got a bit nervous at the end. I’ve talked long and hard about how tight the league is and the need to get a second goal to kill games.

“We didn’t do that but there was some great defending and some great desire not to concede a goal. Thankfully we got the points.

“Our concentration levels at the back were fantastic and we had Nicky Bailey breaking things up. We had one or two other good chances but the second goal didn’t come. But ultimately we won the football match and we move on.”

Mowbray insists there will be plenty of twists and turns to come, to follow Southampton’s current run of just four points in four games.

He said: “When you look at results across the Championship it’s a very tight, competitive division. We’re all trying to accumulate points and see where we are come February and March-time when you get down to ten or a dozen games to go and you’re in with a shout for it.

“The only way you’re in the top six come that stage of the season is if you’ve won matches along the way.”