Garry Monk has talked up the importance of unity – as his Middlesbrough side bid to end their stuttering run against Ipswich Town tomorrow.
Boro have lost three of their last four Championship encounters, having crashed 2-1 at Bristol City last time out.
It’s a run which has seen them slip to ninth in the second-tier table, some six points off the promotion play-off race.
And Monk has urged the Boro faithful to stick with his team as they return to action against Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys at the Riverside tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
Although the under pressure former Leeds United and Swansea City manager admits the loyal punters in the stands deserve better than his team are serving up at present.
“Of course we understand the frustration of the fans,” said Monk.
“But, in the tough moments, you stick together, and I think they know that.
“Unity has been an important factor for this club over the years. The fans deserve better and we have to give them that this weekend.
“Judging from the week we have had (on the training ground), the response has been good so far, but that has to go on to the pitch now.”
While Monk is fully appreciative of the fans anger at recent performances, he insists that there is no one more frustrated than himself. “There’s no getting around it, it’s been a bitterly disappointing couple of weeks,” he said.
“We’ve all felt that, and as I said before there can be no excuses. But as a manager and as players there’s only one response and that’s winning games.
“No-one is more frustrated and disappointed than me – the fans’ backing has been tremendous and they deserve better. The reaction needs to happen and I’m confident in this group to deliver that this weekend.”
With a win tomorrow Boro would leapfrog seventh-placed Ipswich.
And despite highlighting the difficulty of the encounter, Monk has faith in his players’ ability to deliver on the park – if they stick to their principles.
Monk said: “We’re not looking any further ahead than the game this weekend.
“We have to get back to winning ways and get some momentum again.
“The players definitely have the ability, it’s about getting the right mentality on the pitch.”
On Town, Monk added: “Ipswich are an experienced side, with an experienced manager. But we have to look at ourselves, and look at delivering what we stand for and what we know we can deliver. There have been times when we’ve shown that, but not nearly enough.”