Stewart Downing has hailed Boro's 'first class' support after over 1,000 fans made the long trip to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Boro were well-beaten by Eddie Howe's side but were backed by a booming away end for the game's entirety.

Now Downing says the impetus will be on giving the home crowd something to shout about when Sunderland travel to the Riverside on Wednesday night (7:45pm).

"We've got a big derby on Wednesday and have to give the fans something to shout about," said Downing. "They've stuck with us every game. 

"The travelling crowd were singing away on Saturday and it's really disappointing for them but they've been first class. 

"Us as players have to give them something and a win would be nice."

The midfielder was keen to praise Head Coach Steve Agnew, who took charge following Aitor Karanka's departure in March.

He said: "What I will say is we have a manager who has taken over, who's been positive and first class since he came in. He was left with a difficult task, you've got to remember. 

"He'll be watching people and seeing who fancies it, who wants to be here and fight to have a go for him. It's up to us, we're fighting for our futures here. 

"He's been absolutely first class. He's had a difficult task but has handled it really well."

The Cherries were rampant on the South Coast, putting Boro to the sword after Gaston Ramirez was given his marching orders before the half-time whistle following two yellow cards.

"It's disappointing and wasn't good enough from start to finish," said Downing. "We found ourselves 1-0 down early on. 

"We knew what they were about and that they were going to come at us straight from the blocks in a tight little ground. 

"We've said all week and practised it but it goes out of the window when you go a goal or two down. I think everything went against us. We had injuries and got a man sent off. 

"It's hard enough with 11 men, never mind 10. It's disappointing. We've got a game Wednesday and need to put it right. Us as players have to stand up. 

"You keep going until the end. We've got big games coming ahead and we'll see who will stand up and be counted. 

"We as players - nothing to do with tactics or the manager - have to put in a performance and it wasn't good enough."