It mattered not that Boro were down to 10 men for the majority of the game at St Andrew's where Dimi Konstantopoulos was sent-off shortly before half-time. Leadbitter, in part, still cut a frustrated figure.

"We didn't win the game," was his response, as ever straight to the point.

"We're never happy with a point at this football club. The manager has instilled a winning mentality at every level, U18s, U21s and the first team."

It is that mentality which has taken Boro to the top of the table and one that could see them four points clear by the time the others kick-off on Saturday.

"That should be another tough game," says Leadbitter. "Hopefully there will be a good crowd and we do what we're good at.

"It was difficult last night, but I felt in the second half we were in control of the game. I'm disappointed not to have won, but it was a really good performance from the boys. We dug in together, we're a team and a close knit unit.

"The manager's team talk at half time was really good. There were a few harsh words and what was needed to be said was said. We wanted to get to the top of the table. Now we're there we want to stay there. There is a long, long, long way to go. I'm sure we have good enough characters in the dressing room to see this through. The group sticks together, there is quality in it and we play good football."

Leadbitter was again full of praise for Boro's fans that paid to watch the third game in eight days away from home and second at night.

"They were brilliant again, just as they were at night last week at Blackpool. I'd like to thank them for making the journey to Birmingham on a Wednesday night, especially when they've probably ben to Arsenal and Blackpool and have work the next day.

"At least we gave them a point which took us top of the league."