‘We’ll fight for each other’
BATTLING Boro are united and steeled for the relegation scrap insists defiant Adam Clayton.
“There are no chinks in our armour,” said the tough-tackling midfield anchorman.
Wembley dreams were dashed as Aitor Karanka’s side were given the runaround in a 2-0 FA Cup quarterfianl defeat to big boys Manchester City at the Riverside on Saturday.
Now the troubled team must focus on the Premier League survival battle - and anchorman Clayton believes Boro will succeed because of the strong bond within the group.
And he added that last season’s turmoil and tension will serve them well in the relegation run-in.
“There are no chinks inside the group,” he insisted. “There are no chinks between Aitor and the team.
“I don’t think it can get any harder than it was at the end of last season. That was a tough, tough time. Ten games to go with the palaver that went on. But then went six unbeaten and got across the line.
“The strength in this group, the togetherness, what we have been through … I tweeted the other day that when you go through things in life with people, you get stronger.
“I don’t think there is a tighter group. I have made friends for life here now in Gibbo (Ben Gibson), Grant (Leadbitter), Stewy (Downing) and people like that. It is one of, if not the, tightest dressing room I have ever been in.”
Clayton, who signed a new fouryear deal last week, admitted that as well as the friendship there have been tensions and rows over the course of a turbulent campaign - but that has made the drive to fight and succeed stronger.
“The amount of things we have been through together, the arguments we have had, the amount of love that everyone has given each other, honestly, there are so many ups and downs in a season, the amount of things that go on, they have all made us a very strong group,” he explained.
“We just need to get that win to spark it and try to turn everything that is a negative into a positive.
“And we will never stop fighting. That will never happen. As long as we have a chance we will keep grafting away.
“We just have to turn one of these performances into a result and who knows where it will take us.”
Against City Boro leaked an early goal and they were outclassed in the end but Clayton was keen to take positives after the team never stopped fighting or working.
“We wanted to stop them playing out,” he said.
“We started to catch them after 20-25 minutes and created a few good chances.
“Unfortunately we just couldn’t get it over the line, they are one of the best teams in the world, they keep the ball away from you so well.
“When you do get your chances you need to tuck them away and we didn’t do that. It was a difficult second half to be fair.
“But heads never dropped. That shows the character we have in the dressing room.
“The fact we stayed in the game and went on the front foot and had chances is testament to the group and how hard we work.
“We were trying. If we could have nicked a goal it might have been different but they are a top team and killed the game off the second half.”
Clayton vowed to supporters that the team will not give up.
“It’s important to show the fans we are still fighting,” he said. “We will never stop. The fans were top quality, they were loud and kept us going. When we were on the front foot they were right behind us. Even when City scored they didn’t stop singing for a good 10 minutes.
“We know they are behind us. And we are right up for the fight, so we will keep going.”