Lewis Wing's first-half goal was cancelled out by Che Adams but Boro responded three minutes after conceding to secure a league double over the Blues. 

In a tough battle against Garry Monk's side, Ayala believes he and his teammates stood firm to the task at hand against a Birmingham side who had gone five league matches unbeaten. 

“That was a proper Championship game, you have to fight hard, and we knew that from the beginning that it was going to be a really hard game, we knew it was going to be tough but everyone stood up to the task and we did well,” he said.

“We battled against them and I think we won more headers, we won the second balls and we made it difficult for them.

“You have to win your individual battles and I think we did that through the pitch. We got the goal, we could have scored maybe another one, we then dropped a little bit but they lumped the ball forward but from there we did well.”

Watch the full interview with the Boro defender in the video player above.