The Boro defender echoed the disappointment of his manager after Tuesday's draw at Villa Park.

"We've not scored over the two legs so we can't expect to go through," he said.

"But we believed we could come here and win, even at 1-0 down. We just needed the rub of the green at times - in the home game and today.

"We've given it everything - you can't question anyone's work rate or desire, but we lacked that killer instinct. 

"Credit to Villa, they managed to get through. It's really disappointing for us."

The defender said Boro need to extend the recent form under Tony Pulis over a full season next time out.

"If you look at the early parts of the season, we probably weren't good enough. We didn't really put a run together," he said.

"Credit to the manager - he's come in and done a wonderful job. I think that's what gave us the belief. 

"We've stumbled at this hurdle, but I have to admit we've been here before. Even all the way to Wembley, losing to Norwich.

"I remember saying then we'll be back, because that's what we do on Teesside - and the following season we went and got promoted. I have no doubt we'll start next season with the same positive attitude."

Watch the full interview with George Friend above.