Adam Clayton says the midweek respite will provide the perfect preparation time for Friday's trip to Birmingham after what's been a hectic month of fixtures for the squad.

It's the first time in four weeks that Boro haven't played on a Tuesday night and with the crucial clash at St Andrew's coming up, Clayton is confident the team can draw on the same level of performance that has placed them within touching distance of a Premier League return.

"I've been in the Championship a good few years now and it is relentless," said the midfielder. 

"To go Saturday, Tuesday at this stage of the season is tough on the body more than anything. 

"It's good to get a week's preparation in now for two important games and hopefully we can put in the performances that we have done over the last six or seven to get the win. 

"I think we're in as good a position as anyone in the league. It was disappointing not to get the win on Saturday but I thought we played really well and created loads of chances. 

"It wasn't through lack of trying, it wasn't a game that we threw away or didn't turn up. We just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net with our chances at the end of the day. 

"You get games like that but we're in the same position as the other three teams and I know what camp I'd want to be in with the quality we have in that dressing room. 

"We've just got to keep together, go again and try to get over the line."

Clayton was named in the Team of the Season for the Sky Bet Championship at the PFA Awards on Sunday after what's been a terrific season for the midfielder.

It was the first time Clayton has made the team in his career and he was delighted to have been chosen by his peers for the accolade. 

"It's the first time I've been recognised like that so it's a really nice feeling, especially from your fellow players," he said. 

"Now we've just got to round that off and get the thing that we all want. I've enjoyed this season and picked up a few Man of the Matches which is always nice. 

"But there are hundreds of players in the league and it could go to anyone, so to be recognised through the players themselves is a really fulfilling feeling."


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