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Carayol: We're more determined than ever
MUSTAPHA CARAYOL insists the Middlesbrough squad are more determined than ever to gain promotion from the Championship even if they have failed to do so twice under Tony Mowbray.
Mowbray is still trying to add to his squad before the transfer window closes on September 2, but the Boro boss has had a third bid rejected for Leeds United striker Ross McCormack.
Their latest bid, believed to be in the region of £1.5m, is closer to Leeds' valuation for the player, but Mowbray will now have to decide whether to go in with a fourth offer or move onto another target.
Mowbray's side are now tackling their fifth season out of the top flight, but while many may have written their chances of a return at the end of this season, Carayol says the squad are desperate to prove the doubters wrong.
"We are more determined than ever to succeed because if you fail twice you're always scared to fail a third time.
"We're always determined and even when we did fail last year I don't think there's been any hangover or regret from it because we're such a positive bunch of lads.
"We're all trying to better ourselves and keep improving. Over a season we're going to have some good days and some bad days and you've got to learn to take the good with the bad. Hopefully we can come out with a good result."
Carayol made the step up from League Two when he signed for Boro and admits the competition to succeed is fierce, but he believes Mowbray's men should fear no one.
He said: "Every game in this league is weird. I've come from League Two and you thought you knew what to expect but every single game is different.
"There's no one we should fear, we've just got to go out and play and hopefully the fans can be patient, because we do try to pay passing football."
Marvin Emnes' late equaliser saved a point for Boro against Blackpool last weekend, in a game Jonathan Woodgate played despite laying his father to rest two days earlier.
The central defender could have been forgiven for missing the game in light of his situation, but the 33-year-old admits carrying on playing has helped him through a difficult time.
"It was because my father would have wanted me to play - he was a Middlesbrough fan all his life and took me there from the age of six to Ayresome Park and the Riverside and it was the natural thing he would have wanted me to do," Woodgare said. "It wasn't easy but you've got to block things out of your mind sometimes.
"We're all normal human beings and we all suffer family tragedies and we have to get on with it. It wasn't easy but it was a thing I wanted to do, my family wanted me to play. I had a chat with the manager and got on with it.
"I've tried to keep myself in training every day since it happened. I had one day off but even on the day of the funeral I came in to do some work and I think it's important, you have to keep yourself busy or you'll just keep thinking about it all the time."