Patrick Bamford was pleased to be back among the goals after netting against Southampton on Saturday.

It was the striker's first Premier League goal and a first since returning to Teesside in January, as he headed home from Viktor Fischer's corner. 

While Bamford was disappointed that Boro couldn't sign off at the Riverside with a win the team wanted, he hopes the goal spells the end of a frustrating 18 months of his career.

"It was one of those where you have to get up to the pace of the game," he said.

"Having not played a lot, it is quite hard but I really enjoyed every second being out there. 

"It's only my third start in the Premier League. It's been frustrating, but I knew I would get my chance and when it came that I had to take it."

Bamford made his first Premier League appearance with Crystal Palace in 2015, and also turned out for Norwich City and Burney in the top flight before returning to Boro. 

But opportunities have been limited for the forward, who, has seen just shy of 600 minutes of playing time in that period.

The 23-year-old says he now feels back at home at Boro, and has the confidence to start making up for lost time. 

"I found it easier to settle back here, and I just stuck with it and waited for my chance," he said.

"When I did come on from the bench I was trying to make an impact, which I think I did.

"I always believe when I start a game I'm going to score. Against Accrington [Bamford's only previous start this season] I should have had a hat-trick.

"Fortunately [on Saturday] I proved myself right."

Saturday's 2-1 defeat to the Saints is the last Premier League action that the Riverside will see for at least a year, but Bamford says that while the entire club is feeling the sting of relegation, he hopes to help the club back to the top flight at the first opportunity.

"Middlesbrough is a massive club, and relegation is hard on everyone," he said.

"I've been a fan myself once upon a time and you get frustrated. The Championship is a real grind at times - but we know the fans will always be with us. 

"When I signed for Boro I wanted to be a big player for us in the Premier League. It's not turned out that way for now, but it's our job to fire us straight back up."