Ben Gibson gave a frank and honest assessment after Boro's 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
The defender admits it was a big missed opportunity on Saturday, and Gibson says Boro need a swift and positive response.
"There's no hiding from it, it's not a good result," he said.
"We have to win games like that - we've won four games in the league this season and that's not good enough. Opportunities are running out so we have to start taking them now.
"The table doesn't lie. But we can't cry over spilled milk.
"We've got to think long and hard, look at each other and demand more from each other to get a reaction."
The 24-year-old echoed the thoughts of Head Coach Aitor Karanka in saying Boro were slow to get going on Saturday - and were punished for it.
"We didn't start the game well," he said.
"First half we were poor and I think that second half we came out a different side but it was too little, too late.
"The atmosphere was bad [in the dressing room] after but that's how I want it to be - I don't want it to be good after we've just been beat in a massive game like that."
Gibson says it is time for the leaders in Boro's ranks to stand up and be counted.
"We've spoken about having leaders in this dressing room for a long time and now we'll see if those leaders will rise to the challenge," he said.
"There's not 'if' we can get over it, we have to get over it - end of story.
"We're fighting for our lives and have worked too hard to throw this position away.
"I still have every confidence that we will stay in this league."