Stewart Downing is calling on Boro to stick together as the focus quickly moves on to Saturday's trip to Stoke City (3pm).

Boro suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of one of Downing's former managers in Sam Allardyce at the weekend and the midfielder rued a chance missed against Crystal Palace.

"It was a massive game for us, and we didn't make it as difficult for them as we should have," said Downing. 

"That was our plan, to put them under pressure - if you're down at the bottom that can make it difficult and the crowd can play a part.

"But we didn't do enough to be honest. Late on, we huffed and puffed.

"I have played for Sam's teams and they are difficult to break down, especially when they take the lead. 

"The biggest disappointment, on the back of the results they have had, we should have gotten into more attacking positions and had more shots, and test the keeper.

"It's a big result for them because it was an opportunity for us to win and open up a game between the teams. 

"There's no point dwelling on that now, we've got a big game for us next week, and a chance to put that right."

Stoke City fought back to earn a point when the two sides met on the opening day at the Riverside and Downing insists Boro will head for the bet365 Stadium putting last Saturday's defeat behind them.

"We have to do what Palace have done - bounce back," he said. "We'll go to Stoke to get a result, and we have home games to come as well.

"We have to stick together. It's easy to feel sorry for yourselves when you lose games and you're down there.

"But it's about where we are at the end of the season, so we just have to forget this result and get on with getting points as soon as we can."