Boro's trip to Chelsea on Monday will prove to be one of the major Premier League deciders this season - with implications at the top and the bottom - but Steve Agnew's men will head for Stamford Bridge unfazed.

While Boro need a victory to take the battle against relegation into another round of matches, a win for the London side will take them to within touching distance of a first Premier League title triumph for Antonio Conte.

Agnew's side travel south buoyed by beating Sunderland and coming within a whisker of beating Manchester City last weekend, denied by a controversial penalty decision which allowed the visitors a route back into a contest which ended 2-2.

It's the first time this year Boro have picked up four points from two games, and confidence will be high at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

"It's going to be difficult," said Stewart Downing. "We're under no illusions about that.

"Chelsea are under pressure to get over the line, and we're still in it. 

"People won't expect us to win, but look at last weekend...City had top players and we could have won and should have won. We had chances, there was the penalty decision and we gave away a sloppy goal.

"If we play like we did on Sunday we have every chance of getting the result we need. On any given day you can beat anyone in this league."

On the back of two positive results, Boro also have the knowledge that the Premier League's big hitters haven't all had things their own way against the Teessiders this season.

There were creditable draws at Arsenal and Manchester City, while Tottenham and Chelsea both had to be at their best to secure victories by the narrowest of margins earlier in the season.

"We've done well against the top teams over all this season," said Downing. 

"It's been disappointing to come out of some of those games not winning, but knowing you've done something right and there's been nothing to choose. 

"If you lose it knocks you, but we've got results against these teams and there's no reason why we can't get another. We'll have to work hard and keep our shape, but it's an opportunity."

Downing admits, though, while performances lead to confidence, it's all about results as Boro look to keep the fight alive and put pressure on Swansea City and Hull City.

With two games remaining after this weekend, there are still potential twists and turns for all the clubs, but it's firmly down to Boro to keep hopes alive and extend the battle.

"It's ok being happy with performances, but it's about points and not performances," said Downing. "We have to keep going until the end and give our all.

"I honestly thought we would stay in this league and wouldn't be in this position. I thought we would have done better, but we have to keep going.

"Play like we did against Man City and we have a chance."

The experienced midfielder also paid tribute to the impact made by Steve Agnew since stepping into the role as Head Coach.

Agnew took over in March and gained draws against Swansea and Burnley before the four points against Sunderland and Man City. The Swansea and Burnley games could have yielded more for Boro as could the City clash.

"The gaffer is giving the players the confidence," said Downing. "I know what he's about and the players enjoy working with him.

"The circumstances have been difficult for him, but he's a bubbly character, he doesn't dwell and he gets the message across about what he expects - and he expects high standards."