Middlesbrough put in one of their worst performances of the season when they faced Birmingham City at St. Andrews on Friday night, losing the game 2-1 in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Middlesbrough defender Dani Ayala thought he’d bundled home the goal to come away with an undeserved point, but Blues youngster Odin Bailey headed in a late winner just moments later.

The result leaves Boro in 20th, just two points outside of the relegation zone with 11 games played, and Ayala has issued a warning to his teammates that they could be in a relegation battle if they’re not careful.

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Speaking to Teesside Live after the defeat, he said:

“We have to wake up, and wake up fast because we are down the bottom and we have to realise that.

“It was a very disappointing performance and a very disappointing result” he said.

“We are down the bottom and have to realise it. Look at the table: we are down at the bottom.

Ayala admitted that achieving a top six finish might be a pipe dream at the moment, and instead they need to concentrate on picking up points to boost themselves up the table and away from danger.

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“There is no point thinking we are going to be in the play-offs, we have to realise we are right in a battle now.

“We have to all do better as players and as a team and we have to start to pick up points quickly.”

They will be hoping to do this when they face West Brom at The Riverside next weekend.


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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook